Health care is complex and can be overwhelming – and even frightening – for many. This is especially true if there are language or cultural barriers to accessing care. Yet understanding care options and care instructions are critical to achieving desired outcomes. Similarly, historical biases and mistreatment of under-represented populations deter many from participation in clinical trials even though broad-based and diverse enrollment is critical to drug development. Global medical communications company Jumo Health has identified a common issue: deficiencies in health literacy and reading comprehension are exacerbating the social determinants of health.
The Jumo Health Approach
Despite clinical and technical advancements, health care still requires the expertise of trained professionals and the exercise of medical judgement. Jumo Health bridges the patient and provider gap by developing age-appropriate and culturally competent materials to address specific conditions, issues, and populations in ways they can understand, relate to, and act upon. The Company has extensive work experience across medical topics, leveraging its deep relationships with patient advocacy and community organizations to ensure its work is based on the most current literature and is peer-reviewed by leading specialists.
Much of Jumo Health’s philosophy dates back to its roots in providing pediatric resources to help children understand their diagnosis and care. Using a combination of authentic storytelling and comic books, Jumo Health started by allowing real patient experiences to come to life on the pages of their comic books. The Company’s focus on authentic and relatable storytelling that is centered on addressing health literacy, reading comprehension, age, and culture has allowed it to expand its solution set and the markets it serves.
Diversifying its Footprint
The Company’s experience serving a pediatric audience gives it a barometer for how to explain the complex in relatable ways to ensure the desired action. Borrowing from that experience, Jumo Health successfully expanded its offerings from condition-specific pediatric resources into the global clinical trials market with a mix of print and digital resources serving all ages across all trial types in more than 70 countries covering more than 80 languages within 150 medical topics.
Jumo Health entered the clinical trial market to cure the historical deficiencies pharmaceutical companies have experienced attempting to enroll participants (80% of trials are delayed due to recruitment issues) and as they struggle to address high dropout rates (nearly half of participants drop out before completion).
Today, the Company creates resources to support recruitment and retention efforts for its pharmaceutical and clinical research organization (CRO) customers. “Central to our clinical trial product suite is a broad range of specific interventions delivered at key inflection points throughout the patient journey,” shared Kevin Aniskovich, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Working with our customers, we [Jumo Health] provide the right resources at the right time to create a roadmap for success. The delivery of these resources mirror the way people consume information, varies by demographic profile, and contemplates condition and study protocol,” continued Aniskovich.
COVID Shines a Spotlight on Diversity
In the wake of COVID-19, drug development, and the process for recruitment of participants in particular, has been in the spotlight. From vaccine hesitancy to the hunt for therapeutics to help the world “return to normal,” Jumo Health stepped in working on various studies related to COVID-19 treatment for sponsors and the US Government.
In addition to the historical deficiencies in clinical trials, those statistics are exacerbated by the discrimination and mistreatment of minority groups and COVID-19 shined a clear and bright light on this topic. The legacy of the Tuskegee trials, the Havasupai Diabetes Project, and the treatment of Henrietta Lacks have all led to historical distrust in the process. In fact, recent studies show that only 15% of African Americans and 6% of Latinx Americans participate in clinical trials. In the Company’s effort to ensure equity in the process, they collaborated with Klick Health and the ACTG for the ACTIV-2 trial, dubbed Rise Above COVID, and earned the Gold Medal in the most recent MM&M Awards for their use of clinical trial marketing and multicultural resources.
The 3 Ms
In developing solutions, Jumo Health applies the 3 Ms to its educational resources – message, medium, and market. In addition to custom materials, a unique feature of Jumo Health is its proprietary library of materials available for license. Noted Aniskovich: “Our library allows study teams to stand up IRB-approved resources fast which is particularly important in rescue trials or for budget-sensitive studies.”
Continued Aniskovich, “Jumo Health’s strength lies in our ability to marry the clinical with the creative in an appropriate way for any target audience.” In fact, since opening its doors, Jumo Health has been delivering some of the most out-of-the-box solutions that redefine the way people look at healthcare. From comic books to VR, Jumo Health offers solutions to support all aspects of health care – from trials to point of care.
Behind the Scenes
Jumo Health’s team works directly with sponsors and CROs of all sizes and with varying budgets. Depending on the project, resources developed may include print and digital resources for patients, or even investigator resources to ensure the message is properly communicated in a relatable way so that patients see themselves as part of the process and understand their role in their care. In addition, Jumo Health offers a broad range of specific interventions at crucial inflection points throughout the patient journey. Aniskovich says, “Our delivery methods mirror the way people consume information and vary based on demographic profile, condition and study protocol. For example, for a pharmacokinetic (PK) study or other trials with long IV sessions, we may recommend a VR experience as a distraction method. This is especially helpful for children, one of the age cohorts that gravitate to video over text.”
In all cases, Jumo Health’s process is based in trust and relies on peer-reviewed, evidence-based content. For each engagement, Jumo Health deploys cross-functional teams representing clinical, product and creative, client services, and advocacy/community to ensure that the final product includes trusted, relevant, and actionable messaging. “Our approach to content creation includes collaborating with advocacy and community, use of storytelling, and peer review. This rigorous process results in a halo of community credibility and a higher level of adoption,” said Aniskovich.
Jumo Health’s creative roots mean it is ever-evolving. Short-term initiatives include expanding its reach of work in drug discovery to include observational studies and a specific curriculum for RACE Act-specific clinical trials. As it looks deeper into the future, it can see working with payors and further collaboration with community action boards to drive advocacy.
As study protocols, inclusion criteria, and diversity mandates continue to complicate enrollment and retention, Jumo Health has uniquely positioned itself to support this phase of industry growth. It’s history of addressing health literacy and the special circumstances of underrepresented populations means it is aligned with these broader goals in a way that allows it to stand out from competitors.