Helping Cancer Patients Live Better - a prescription digital therapeutics company singularly dedicated to transforming mental health care for cancer patients.
In 2008, the US Institute of Medicine released a report titled: Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychological Health Needs. This report states: "Cancer care today often provides state-of-the-science biomedical treatment, but fails to address the psychological and social (psychosocial) problems associated with the illness. This failure can compromise the effectiveness of health care and thereby adversely affect the health of cancer patients." Through this report, the National Cancer Institute, cancer research institutions, and medical oncology and psycho-oncology communities became aware of the need to screen for and treat cancer-related distress. However, most people in America receive care in community clinics, rather than in academic or research institutions. In those clinics, there are too few providers with cancer-specific training and expertise to deliver cancer-specific psychological care. Studies suggest that there are fewer than one social worker for every 1,000 cancer patients. Moreover, 75% of U.S. counties have fewer than 10 licensed psychologists, 66% have less than 5, and 33% have zero. Importantly, even for patients who are treated at facilities with dedicated psycho-oncology services, like UCSF, there are still barriers. Patients have to juggle all other aspects of their care plan - and their lives - to attend in-person therapy sessions. This has meant commuting long distances, arranging child care, and carving out the time to accommodate additional appointments. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety associated with receiving in-person care and additional barriers to services make accessing care increasing more difficult, despite the advances provided by tele-health.
The current standard of care for cancer related distress is, unfortunately, no care. There are simply not enough health care professionals trained to provide Americans in need of mental-health or behavioral-health services. That supply-demand mismatch is exacerbated by the disease specific stressors which face patients with cancer. There are cancer-specific, face-to-face behavioral interventions which have been proven to ameliorate cancer-related distress. Only those patients fortunate enough to: 1. Be treated in a facility with dedicated psycho-oncology and psycho-social resources; 2. Be offered services by their care team; 3. Be able to manage their personal, professional, and treatment schedules to include this care; and 4. Find the facilitator and group is a good cultural fit, may receive care for their cancer related distress. Blue Note's products will remove some of these barriers to care. As all of Blue Note's products are fully digital products: 1. Cancer care centers do not need additional staff to provide this care; 2. Patients can engage on their own time, on their own devices, without additional logistical burden; and 3. The high-quality evidence-based content is repeatable in the same way every time, without the variance that comes from providers with varying levels of clinical experience and/or ability providing care. Attune will not only scale to provide high-quality psycho oncology care to all patients, it will provide oncology care teams with an additional resources with which to care for patients suffering from mild to moderate levels of cancer related distress.
We have several strategic collaborations in late stage negotiations, none have been publicly released.