The Expert Access program for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a first-of-its-kind collaboration, builds a “digital” bridge between underserved patient populations and the nation’s leading CLL physicians. The CLL Society, a nonprofit organization supporting patients with CLL, and InfiniteMD, a leader in virtual second opinions and health navigation, meet at the intersection of patient advocacy and telemedicine technology to power this novel program.
Expert Access was launched in 2017 and offers those affected by CLL the opportunity to receive a second opinion virtual consultation with a recognized CLL expert at no-cost to the participant, overcoming common financial, geographical, and logistical barriers.
The Expert Access program’s abstract, An Innovative Telemedicine Platform to Provide Expert Access to Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), was accepted by the American Society of Hematology for their 61st Annual Meeting and will be presented by Dr. Brian Koffman, co-founder, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the CLL Society.
Adoption of Telemedicine to Reach Expert Physicians
The abstract highlights key pre- and post-visit survey data completed by 84 participants. The most widely held affirmation amongst all participants who joined the program was the role technology had on their decision to join Expert Access; 95 percent confirmed that the convenience of having their second opinion online was important in their decision to participate.
Building Confidence and Peace of Mind
In addition to the 92 percent of participants that stated they learned something new about their CLL and the 83 percent that felt greater peace of mind, other insights from the post-visit survey highlight confidence-building outcomes:
- 86 percent were more confident in their understanding of their prognostic test results
- 82 percent had a better understanding of their CLL diagnosis and treatment/management plan
- 85 percent had improved confidence in this plan
Planned Changes to Care
One of the more interesting datasets gathered captures what participants plan to do in the future, after having access to a CLL expert physician; 75 percent planned to take at least one future action:
- 55% would consider a clinical trial
- 42% planned to do more research about CLL
- 35% planned to have more tests done
- 20% planned to pursue additional genetic testing
“For CLL patients, there is a proven survival advantage to having an expert on their team, and that has never been truer than now with all the new therapies. The CLL Society’s free Expert Access program helps patients who otherwise would not have such access get their best possible care,” says Koffman.
Christopher Lee, PhD and co-founder of InfiniteMD, shares Koffman’s enthusiasm for the impact of the program and the longitudinal data that has been captured. “Expert Access began as a pilot project nearly two years ago, and has grown to touch the lives of hundreds of participants and caregivers that have benefited from highly specialized advice brought directly to their homes via our platform. We have received overwhelming positive feedback. Now that the program has been expanded to cover more individuals in need, we are eager to measure new outcomes in 2020 and beyond.”
The Expert Access program continues to be made possible by the generous financial support and vision of Verastem Oncology. To date, the program has conducted 158 free consultations to underserved CLL patients and received in excess of 50 participant testimonials.
About The CLL Society
The CLL Society Inc. is a global, patient-centric, physician-curated nonprofit organization focused on patient education, support and research. Dedicated to addressing the unmet needs of the CLL and related blood cancer communities, the CLL Society explains the rapidly changing therapeutic landscape and the importance of clinical trials, builds patient support groups, educates patients and providers, and does important CLL research.
InfiniteMD is virtual expert opinion and health navigation leader that provides consumers from around the world direct access to the best physicians in the United States via its proprietary platform. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, InfiniteMD works with physicians from nationally ranked institutions, centers of excellence, and Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals. A cornerstone of InfiniteMD’s service is support for global consumers, which includes the international collection and translation of medical records, as well as providing medically trained interpreters during video consultations. www.InfiniteMD.com