XpertPatient revolutionizes cancer patient education by providing tailored, accessible content through diverse formats. Leveraging WellSaid’s AI voice technology, the platform offers lifelike, authentic voice experiences, ensuring personalized and scalable support for cancer patients and their families.
A cancer diagnosis is one of the most challenging events in life. Not only is the patient coping with the emotional and physical aspects of their health condition, they are also trying to navigate complicated medical terms, confusing treatment options, and the maze of the healthcare system.
That’s why Risa Arin founded XpertPatient, a next-gen website for people diagnosed with cancer. While working in healthcare marketing, she realized that patients today had no way to receive a more personalized education experience online and more importantly no easy way to compare their available treatment options.
With robust research and a patient-first approach, Risa knew that XpertPatient could provide cancer patients and their loved ones with the information they need to be a more active participant along their cancer journey, an approach proven to achieve better treatment results.
With an impressive career in healthcare marketing and recognizing the limited ability of brands to create rich patient experiences, in 2021 Risa decided to do something especially meaningful with her skills.
“What’s been incredible to me is while we’re moving forward with advancing medicine, we all talk about ‘precision medicine’ and ‘personalized medicine,’ but from a patient education perspective, there have just been limited advancements.”
While there is a lot of medical information available online, it isn’t presented in a way that is tailored for someone already overwhelmed by a cancer diagnosis. Risa wanted to create a platform that presents complex information in formats accessible to every kind of learner.
“Having a background in customer and patient experience, as well as adult learning, I just saw an incredible opportunity to help newly diagnosed cancer patients get smarter, faster.”
She knew that the content had to be digestible by all kinds of learners. That meant creating educational materials in written text, video, illustrations, and audio content.
With the idea for her platform fully formed, and a team of patients, caregivers and healthcare experts ready to help contribute, Risa set about putting together the needed resources.
“The first release of XpertPatient was designed to support 90% of newly diagnosed people. This included content for all 4 stages of the 13 most prevalent cancer types. We wanted to create content that combined text, illustrations, voice, and video.”
First, Risa partnered with an illustrator who provides medical illustrations for top governmental cancer organizations. In her first prototype of XpertPatient, Risa received feedback that the diagrams were extremely helpful, but that the versions with voiceover added were even more informative.
“At first, I was going to have my friend do the voiceovers. She has an incredible voice, but she also has a full-time job. I asked her, ‘Are you going to have the time to do this?’ It wasn’t scalable, unfortunately.”
She decided to get creative with the voiceover solution and explore tech-based options.
Risa knew that there were big box text-to-speech tools out there. But for the patient experience, she couldn’t risk the possibility of poor quality distracting from the crucial health information being conveyed.
“In this space in particular, it needs to not just feel authentic. It needs to feel 110% authentic.”
She tried video avatars first, but the feedback from all of her team was that it just didn’t feel right. There was also the scalability factor. With a goal of eventually expanding the platform to provide information on a wide range of languages and health conditions, the voiceover tool also needed to be affordable.
“That’s when I found WellSaid. It was just this amazing tool that I could use that was very affordable. I went through all the avatars and landed on the ones that felt very much the right tone, the pace, the right sound to be authentic for the material.”
Because the priority for XpertPatient is a personalized experience, the selection of WellSaid Avatars allows Risa to select an avatar that is specific to the type of cancer. For example, she can use a male avatar for content about prostate cancer.
The quality, variety, and lifelike sound of WellSaid avatars were the perfect solution for XpertPatient.
The learning curve for using WellSaid Studio was not a major challenge for Risa and her team. They were able to more or less copy and paste content from the site into Studio for voiceover.
“Of course with cancer information, I did have to work out complex medical term pronunciation a bit with the AI. I could use the Pronunciation Library to save how I wanted specific terms to be pronounced.”
With the latest Voice Model update, Risa and other Studio users can also use Respelling to give the AI voice cues on exactly how a word should be rendered, including which syllable to emphasize.
Risa has also been able to use the platform for uses outside of the main patient website content. The availability of narration, promo, and conversational styles has been crucial to finding the perfect voice for her purposes.
“I used one of the promo voices for a sales video for potential brand sponsors. I worked with my animation team to create a tour of the site and used a WellSaid promotional style for the video. It turned out fantastic!”
The healthcare industry is slowly evolving to provide more voice content. Risa is still the only information provider she knows of who uses the voiceover element for the patient experience.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think designers of patient support platforms are thinking yet about how to engage with more people with voice the way we are.”
Risa is using her background and perspective in patient experience and learning theory to revolutionize how this information is being delivered. Adding voice has been pivotal to the creation of XpertPatient.
“The feedback has been fantastic. I’ve been talking to patients, nurses, across the board. They are very excited about what we’re building.”
XpertPatient is just getting started. Risa chose scalable formats for the information on the site, so that it can grow to encompass other languages, other health conditions, and reach as many patients as possible.
The fact that WellSaid Studio is scalable, affordable, easy to use, and of the highest quality has empowered Risa to support so many people already.
“I think it’s amazing. I love the term ‘AI for good’ because that’s how I feel about how we’ve been able to leverage WellSaid Studio to help patients.”