Talk to Someone: Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Ron Goldman, Co-Founder & CEO
Kognito is a health simulation company, and the only company with health simulations listed in HHS’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. The company’s evidence-based simulations build clinical communication skills through role-play conversations with virtual humans.
In 2017, Kognito partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) to apply its simulation technology to patient education challenges in oncology. The result: Talk to Someone: Triple Negative Breast Cancer, which launched in July 2018 and is publicly available as a web and mobile app (https://simulations.kognito.com/tnbc). The application pairs newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with an emotionally responsive virtual cancer survivor named Linda. Patients lead a conversation with Linda, who answers their questions about breast cancer, chemotherapy, life during treatment, and survivorship in the safety and privacy of the virtual environment.
The CDC and NACDD connected Kognito’s team with subject matter experts in the field of oncology as well as TNBC survivors to build a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by both providers and patients. Additionally, to imbue Linda with all the compassion and first-hand experience of a breast cancer survivor, Kognito spent dozens of hours in conversation with patient advocates to uncover all the things they wish they knew at the start of their journey as well as how they expressed themselves in manner, facial expression, tone of voice, and cadence.
Early qualitative assessment of the simulation has been overwhelmingly positive. One patient said, “It gives the user a lot of really relevant and important info, especially if they were just diagnosed. It gives information easily, in a way that I wouldn’t have to search on the internet for each of the questions I clicked on.”