I’m Lily Tang from Liyfe (pronounced Life) Clinic (https://liyfeclinic.com), which launched just one week ago. We bring clinical knowledge and support to breast cancer patients without them stepping into clinics.
I worked 13 years as a cancer physicist in radiation oncology. During that time, I have witnessed repeatedly the problems associated with access to care—those patients who might have been diagnosed earlier, and those whose treatments could have been more compliant, and whose post-op symptoms could have been managed more efficiently after their initial treatment.
In fact, the average time a cancer patient gets to talk to a doctor is only 17 minutes. Without sufficient education and communication, patients often cannot understand their home instruction completely, and consequently their compliance is inadequate. All these affect treatment outcome. I wanted to change this situation.
If no one enjoys the process of hospital visits, and doctors don’t have enough time to communicate with patients, how about creating a telemedicine platform? It can offer 24/7 access to personalized cancer consultation and support. This is how Liyfe Clinic began.
I met Sherry two years ago. We quickly became friends, and soon co-founders. Sherry started to build a HIPAA compliant platform for patient and doctor communication, including iOS, Android, and web versions. The platform has native HIPAA compliant communication infrastructure across all versions. It supports text, image, and video messaging, and file transfers. We also have video chat solution on top of WebRTC.
Many cancer patients need to see multiple doctors from multiple facilities, either at the same time or over some years. It is important for them to have a centralized place to store all of their medical records. This way, patients can easily share the records with all doctors—to improve communication efficiency and avoid potential medical mistakes. Therefore, we built a mini EHR system. Patients can upload and organize their profiles and medical records and choose whom they want to share.
Currently we focus on breast cancer and offer two types of services: virtual office visits and Liyfe membership. For virtual office visits, patients can choose to get a treatment second opinion, talk to a doctor, nutrition coaching, and emotional support. Once a service is chosen, we will match the patient with a provider, and then the provider can virtually see the patient using the video chat on our platform.
The membership program was developed recently after we talked to many patients. What patients really want and need is to be able to access a personalized professional help, anytime, anywhere. The membership program allows patient to text chat with a designated nurse practitioner (NP). Texting is a very low threshold access to care, and it lowers many barriers (fear, expense, inconvenience, time lost from work) to personalized professional care. Most patient questions can be answered by an NP. If there is a need to talk to a doctor or other specialists, the NP will triage that.
For long term, we would like work with local hospitals to provide a complete cancer service to patients—hospitals will take care of patients when they are at hospitals, and we will take care the rest.
If any of these situations resonates your or your family and friends’ experience, we’d love to hear your thoughts.