InquisitHealth Expands to Help Scale Evidence-based Breast Cancer Peer Program

October 21, 2022

InquisitHealth launches an NIH-funded randomized clinical trial led by researchers at the University of South Carolina, the University of Colorado, and Brown University

“We have already demonstrated the efficacy of this approach. This trial is focused on how to integrate a web-based platform like InquisitHealth to help support scalability and dissemination. Dr. Bernardine Pinto, Ph.D.”

InquisitHealth today announced the expansion of its Peer engagement technology platform, Mentor1to1™, to deliver a validated physical activity program for breast cancer survivors.

This technology-enabled program will be evaluated as part of an NIH-funded R01 randomized clinical trial, ‘Moving Forward Together,’ in collaboration with leading researchers and clinicians at the University of South Carolina, the University of Colorado, and Brown University.

There is a large body of evidence on the benefits of aerobic exercise to alleviate the sequelae of cancer treatments.

Therefore, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends regular exercise for cancer survivors, but as many as 46%-76% of survivors do not exercise at recommended levels.

In a prior randomized controlled trial led by Dr. Bernardine Pinto, Ph.D., the Primary Investigator in this trial, Peers were trained to deliver a 12-week home-based physical activity intervention to breast cancer survivors. The Peers, who were also breast cancer survivors, delivered 12 weekly counseling phone calls 1-on-1. This program significantly increased survivors’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as measured by an accelerometer from 13 minutes/week at baseline to 70 minutes/week at the end of the program. The control group, in comparison, increased MVPA from 14 minutes/week to just 17 minutes/week (p<0.05).

“We have already demonstrated the efficacy of this approach,” shared Dr. Pinto. “This trial is focused on how to integrate a web-based platform like InquisitHealth to help support scalability and dissemination.”

The scaling up of this proven intervention will require having a feasible, lower-cost means of managing program delivery, tracking fidelity, and delivering consistent results. By adapting InquisitHealth’s platform to support intervention delivery, the goal is to streamline key resource-intensive processes, including (a) Peer management; (b) matching survivors with an appropriate Peer based on multiple important criteria; (c) 1-on-1 HIPAA-compliant program delivery providing structure as well as personalization; and lastly, (d) tools to assure intervention fidelity and improvement in clinical outcomes.

“There are many compelling use cases for Peers. This is an opportunity to translate another proven approach from bench to bedside,” shared Dr. Ashwin Patel, M.D. Ph.D., Co-Investigator on the trial and CEO of InquisitHealth. “So many great concepts live in academia, and only in academia. We are excited to help bridge the gap.”

InquisitHealth provides health plans and health systems with a remote, tech-enabled workforce of Peers (community health workers paired with patients based on their shared cultural background, clinical condition, and lived experience). This Peer workforce helps engage patients, address their social needs, and improve their chronic disease management. These interventions are structured, highly personalized, and delivered 1-on-1 via InquisitHealth’s Mentor1to1™ technology platform for conditions like diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

For this trial, the recruitment of both Peers and participants is being actively supported by the MemorialCare Todd Cancer InstituteCancer Hope NetworkPink Lemonade Project, and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

“This is an important opportunity to actively connect our peer support work to direct improvements in clinical outcomes,” said Cynthia Gutierrez Bernstein, Executive Director of the Cancer Hope Network. “We are excited to participate in this trial.”

The 12-week intervention will be provided on a rolling basis. Recruitment of both Peers and participants has begun. Once the evaluation is complete, the results will be published in a peer-reviewed publication.

This is a unique collaboration among researchers, healthcare systems, cancer support organizations, and patients to leverage a proven technology platform to expand a proven breast cancer peer support program so that, eventually, many more patients can benefit.

This NIH-funded randomized clinical trial will pave the way for the dissemination of this important evidence-based breast cancer support program.

About InquisitHealth

InquisitHealth helps health systems and health plans leverage a remote community health workforce of Peers to engage patients with empathy. Peers are matched 1-on-1 with struggling patients based on their shared cultural background, clinical condition, and lived experience. Peers leverage shared empathy to engage, understand and help struggling patients overcome their SDoH barriers and better manage their chronic conditions. Highly personalized 1-on-1 engagement is tech-guided and optimized to deliver a better healthcare experience and improve clinical outcomes. This tech platform, Mentor1to1™, is currently utilized in multiple NIH- and PCORI-funded research programs to both create and evaluate tech-enabled expansions of Peer programs to serve new patient populations.

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