Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is acknowledged as one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, which can be an extremely hard diagnosis to cope with. In order to improve survival rates and health outcomes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collaborated with health simulation company, Kognito, to create an app that helps patients diagnosed with TNBC.
The app, titled “Talk To Someone: Triple Negative Breast Cancer,” is available online and via a mobile app so TNBC patients can talk with Linda, a virtual TNBC survivor. Users initiate the conversation by asking questions about TNBC, chemotherapy, life during treatment and survivorship. The goal of this app is to start a conversation for patients to better understand the advantages of chemotherapy and to provide expectations if going into treatment. The hope is that this will increase overall motivation in TNBC patients to pursue chemotherapy.
According to data from CDC, approximately 10 to 20 percent of breast cancers are classified as triple negative, and unlike other breast cancers, it cannot be treated with hormonal therapy. Research does show that TNBC responds better to chemotherapy compared to other breast cancers.
Additionally, TNBC patients have a 77 percent five-year survival rate mainly because they are less likely to pursue chemotherapy treatments that offer the highest chance of survival, according to data from CDC. Health researchers believe that patients are reluctant to pursue chemotherapy when diagnosed with TNBC because of high health literacy demands that are placed on patients. CDC and Kognito hope this app helps patients become better informed and more confident in making decisions that could affect the rest of their lives.
Linda was created using Kognito’s proprietary virtual human technology and is a fully-articulated and emotionally responsive cancer survivor. Linda speaks on behalf of real-life experience as a survivor, has extensive knowledge of TNBC, and customizes her messages to the user’s knowledge level, concerns and motivation.
This judgement-free, patient education solution is an app that gives users a sense of security when asking questions and approaches emotional topics in a personalized, empathetic way. Patients have a “go-to” person whenever they need to talk and for as long as they need.