Feyi Olopade Ayodele on Informing Patients of the Benefits of Genetic Screening for Cancer

Through partnerships, CancerIQ tries to reduce barriers for patients to use genetic services to detect cancer early, said Feyi Olopade Ayodele, MBA, chief executive officer at CancerIQ.

What strategies are being used to inform patients about the benefits of using genetic services for early cancer detection?
The strategies that we use to educate patients on the benefits and the risks of genetic testing is really by using the channels that they really know and trust and believe in – the provider. As part of our partnership with our clients, we’re not only just dropping off software, but we’re helping them with communication strategies on how to explain this in as simple a way as possible to their patients, because there’s a lot of information on the internet and on the web and all these “less trustworthy” places. And most patients really expect their provider to know something about it. With CancerIQ we’re really helping the providers with their messaging, their mid-level staff with their messaging, and even a mammo-tech in a breast center – making sure that their messaging is clear and consistent for patients.

What barriers still exist to reaching these patients?
I’d say the barriers that still exist to reaching patients are really just the amount of time it may take a provider to incorporate genetics into their visit. What we find is a huge patient barrier is when the provider knows the patient’s at risk, knows they need a genetic evaluation, but still refers that patient outside to call a number and maybe find a genetic counsellor outside of the practice. I think what happens in that scenario is that the patient needs to make another appointment, they need to pay for parking again, they need to take time off of work, and they need to do it for a preventive service that they can’t feel, which really is a huge barrier to patient access. So what we ultimately try and do is make sure that we bring those genetic evaluation services in-house and into the practice so that there are fewer hoops that a patient needs to go through to actually access it.
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