How Backpack Health Helps Patients Organize Complex Medical Needs and Connect with Research

At Antidote, our goal is to empower patients to connect with research and seek out the best treatments while learning more about their condition. Backpack Health, our newest partner, shares our mission and gives patients a way to lighten the load of living with a chronic disease in a simple, tangible way while connecting patients with research opportunities.

The way the tool works is simple: Patients or caregivers enter information about their condition, like symptoms and treatment information, into the free Backpack Health app. Then, with their permission, they can take research surveys and hear about clinical trials looking for volunteers with their condition.

Patients keep the information from any survey they respond to, and can also see how their results compare with others who have taken a survey.

"It's not just used for research – they can also use it to track their own health," said Michael Shapiro-Barr, Director of Business Development at Backpack Health. "It's two way."

It was also important to the company to ensure any research opportunity sent to their community is patient-centric – that means no 40-question long surveys.

It's particularly important to connect rare disease patients with research opportunities – that's one reason the company chose to focus on rare diseases when developing the tool.

"Rare disease patients are very, very hard to find," said Cavan. "Without adequate data, clinical decisions for treatment cannot be made safely or effectively."

Backpack Health also hopes the tool can be used by researchers to better understand daily life with a condition using what are referred to as patient-reported outcomes.

"Patients may have perspectives vastly different from clinical care givers, not specifically right or wrong, but different, that need to be considered," said Backpack Health President and CEO Jim Cavan. "The patient's voice in research is empowering."