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Jan. 7, 2023

Whitney Isola - The Power of Connection and Community for Wellness

Whitney Isola - The Power of Connection and Community for Wellness

Are you a female entrepreneur who has had cancer or a caretaker of someone with cancer? Would you like to see how a community can help you in your health journey?
This weekend on the Wellness and Wealth podcast, Whitney Isola of Witty Health addresses how a digital platform is helping people across our country get the same oncology healthcare resources as those living in places like New York City. She’ll also share how digital networking and community helped her collaborate on this project.
In this episode, Whitney Isola answers the following questions:
How do you describe a strong community, and why is that important to taking care of oneself?
What is OncoPower, and what was the catalyst to start it?
Do women tend to find out later about their cancer or earlier?
Why is it important to know your body and not wait for medical care?

Are you a female entrepreneur who has had cancer or a caretaker of someone with cancer? Would you like to see how a community can help you in your health journey?

This weekend on the Wellness and Wealth podcast, Whitney Isola of Witty Health addresses how a digital platform is helping people across our country get the same oncology healthcare resources as those living in places like New York City. She’ll also share how digital networking and community helped her collaborate on this project. 

In this episode, Whitney Isola answers the following questions:

  • How do you describe a strong community, and why is that important to taking care of oneself?
  • What is OncoPower, and what was the catalyst to start it? 
  • Do women tend to find out later about their cancer or earlier? 
  • Why is it important to know your body and not wait for medical care?

Guest Offer: Check us out at www.oncopower.org or by downloading the OncoPower app from the Apple or Google Play store! OncoPower is a FREE app to support patients and caregivers through the cancer care journey by providing supportive care and clinical trial mapping. OncoPower also has a provider network for sharing the latest science and research.

OncoPower has a premium monthly subscription service called 'Ask-a-Doc' that allows unlimited questions to a panel of professionals for second opinion services to help augment your treating team and encourage asking the right questions in-visit. Use code PODCAST to unlock 6 months of this service for free.



" I have been a member of this group since six months. As I’ve mentioned previously I have been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. The amount of love and support I’ve received from the docs and patients is overwhelming. In the past I didn’t comprehend the connection and comradery cancer patients have for one another. Man do I know now! God bless all of you! Regardless of the outcome with my cancer I will always support this group and EVERY individual in it." -KC, New York

"I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in October 2020 and had a 6 hour bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction surgery. I have been on Lynparza after BRCA1 testing (HER2 negative) since I posted here back in February 2022. I have been having quarterly scans. My cancer is stable! Docs here on Ask-A-Doc really saved me! JUST DON'T GIVE UP!" - LT, Minnesota


Connect with Wendy Manganaro:

Connect with Wendy Manganaro:  


Whitney Isola

[00:00:00] Wendy Manganaro: Hi everyone. My name's Wendy Manganaro and I am the Host of the Wellness and Wealth podcast. I'm so happy to have you find us. And if you could take a moment and hit that subscribe button, I'd really appreciate it. This is the podcast where we believe when you show up better for yourself as a woman business owner, you show up better for your business. 

So sit back, relax. And learn from the practical to the woo-hoo, how to best take care of you. Have a great day. Stay blessed. And leave a review when you're done listening to the show, thanks so much. 

[00:00:38] Wendy: Hey everyone. Today's topic's gonna be the power of connection and community for wellness and entrepreneurship, and I have 

Whitney Isola on with us today, and I'm gonna read her bio. 

And then we'll get right into it. 

Whitney Isola is a digital health entrepreneur and registered dietician. Whitney co-founded Witty Health, a company that focuses on building smart digital health tools.

Whitty Health's first product. Onco Power is a platform for supportive of oncology care and clinical trial mapping. Whitney has a passion for intuitive workflows building in social support mechanisms for navigating one's healthcare experiences and stripping away the silos in traditional healthcare, Whitney's previous experiences including directing food and clinical nutrition operations within New York City Health and hospitals launching ambulatory care nutrition services for multi-specialty groups and

delivering clinical nutrition care. Whitney has an MBA from HAS School of Business, university of Tennessee, and both an MS mB S from Boston University when she's not driving strategy and operations for Onco Power and Whitty Health. Whitney can be found cooking, hiking, doing a D I Y project at home or traveling with her husband, son, and dog.

So, wow, that's amazing. Welcome to the show,

[00:02:04] Whitney Isola: Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited about this.

Oh, I'm really 

[00:02:08] Wendy: excited. You're on too. And I try to chat with everybody before we come on the show and when we chatted. I love what you're doing. I love what you're doing as someone who is a cancer survivor, a childhood cancer survivor, I think it's so important, the work that you're doing, like beyond measure.

[00:02:24] Whitney Isola: Thank you.

[00:02:25] Wendy: So we're gonna get into today's topic. I would love for you to tell us about Onco Power, but, in that, because I know that it's based on community, I'd love to know how do you describe a strong community and why is it important to taking care of oneself?

[00:02:40] Whitney Isola: So, I guess I'll answer the question first and then we can talk about Onco Power, thereafter. Obviously one of the most critical things is feeling connected, to others in terms of building a strong community. But I think how you begin to be able to feel connected to other people is really through authenticity and trust.

And so, I think that just in my relationships in my life, whether I'm seeking some sort of mentorship in a professional setting or going to a friend or going to a family member, I really try to be myself, the good, the bad, the ugly, the more that I am who I am and say, Hey, this is what I'm struggling with, or This is what I'd love your input on, or this is how I value you.

 I think that authenticity really starts to build a relationship with others in which they get to see you for who you are. And then that allows them to support you and lift you up when you need it. And it also allows them to get to a place of feeling vulnerable and being able to return that.

As the recipient can return that to them, when they. And I think we've really tried to take that approach with building Onco Power. So Onco Power is a supportive, community in which cancer patients and their caregivers can really seek advice, support clinical tools, and get high quality information and, the top two pieces of feedback that we get from patients and caregivers that are on the app are number one, I feel I can trust this.

There's so much smut out there and there's so much bad information that lives in the corners of the internet for cancer patients. And so we've just really had the very consistent approach of we're gonna give trustworthy information and make sure that some of the resources are there for finding quality information.

That's also, respectful of the fact that patients are interested sometimes in complimentary and alternative therapies. We do have mindfulness content on the app. We do talk about yoga and its relevance. We do talk about all types of nutrition approaches to care, in addition to therapies and medications and immunotherapy and chemo and side effects.

And so I think that a place that exists for patients, that has all of these things living together in a cohesive, authentic way. And then also allows them to connect with others, and lift each other up and say, Hey, I've been through that. Let me help you out. Or, I went on that exact treatment and here's how I dealt with this side effect.

People who have been through it before always have the best ideas about how to handle something. I think those would be not only the ways in which I've approached connection and community in my life, but also what we're really, trying to stick to and make sure is very deep, deep-rooted within Onco Power.

[00:05:40] Wendy: So that's fascinating. And I love that we get to use technology to help self-care. And I know that we can use too much technology and there's an opposite reaction to that. But when technology is used correctly, tools and the ability it has to bring us together to find out information in a safe, valued place is really an incredible outcome of what technology should be used for.

So I love that you're doing this. I'd love to know the background because, going specifically into oncology, anything that has to do with cancer, I'm always amazed. As an adult, I have had friends who are oncologists who treat children with cancer.

I have a friend who figures out the childhood cancer type and then is responsible for sharing the news with the child's parents and I'm always like, I don't know how you go into it. As somebody who is a survivor, I still struggle with that side of it of. because with cancer, There's a lot of hope and there's a lot of disappointment.

So how did you start this and want and know that this was an ar? Cuz that's very specific to build a community for those cancer patients, their doctors and their caregivers.

[00:06:58] audioWhitneyIsola11686817916: Yeah. I know. So, it was really an evolution of probably over a year and a half's worth of conversations, if not more. So I ended up meeting my co-founders basically through LinkedIn and a couple of projects that we were working on. One of them, Ram Sasha and I, we'd worked together before on a couple of projects and we really had such a passion for digital health and the opportunities. We saw that healthcare has the opportunity here to start to become, More nimble and start to happen in people's pockets and in people's homes.

They don't just have to go sit, do the transportation of getting to the doctor, sitting in the office, being exposed to the germs, et cetera, et cetera. So the, that was where we were coming from, but we weren't totally sure about what area to dive into. And then we met our, third co-founder, Kartik Kadu, who's a community oncologist.

 He has such passion for taking care of the patients. And he's also a digital entrepreneur. He launched, an education, test prep company for, lots of different medical disciplines and whatnot. And, the three of us spent a lot of time beating up on an idea.

And we actually started designing onco power for the community oncologist. So oncology the treatment options have exploded over the past five to six years. You have, a proliferation of drug and treatment options that kind of no other medical discipline is experiencing quite as rapid innovation.

And for the places like in New York City, a Memorial Sloan Kettering, That specialist might see, 25 of the same exact cancer every single day, but the vast majority of Americans go to a community oncologist that might be seeing. , 25 different cancers in a day.

And so we were ideating on, how can we get some of this clinical data to the providers faster in a nice, fun, easy connectivity, real world data based way? And allow them to network with each other and dive in and talk about what they're seeing. And also just give them some really simple point of care tools so that if they wanna look up, a treatment option, they can just do it right there then and there.

And sort of give them some of that very relevant cutting edge science. And so, we built a proprietary, drug lookup database. And as we were doing that and getting a ton of, feedback from the end user, we started seeing this real hunger on the side of the patients for some of that information as.

And so it happened by accident, but we started really building some patient focused care tools. And again, around the idea that like if there's a supportive community and there's high quality education videos, for, that. Both relieves the providers, by the way, from having to say the 32nd EL elevator speech over and over again, but also allows the patients to watch and their caregivers to watch it over and over again such that they'll retain the information.

Cause you don't retain. When you're in the doctor and trying to get your 15 questions out in under 10 minutes, right? You don't even retain what the answers are. So, it happened that as we were building kind of these tools and resources for the providers, we just kept expanding and leaning into what that meant for the patients.

And it has really resulted in this community. We listen to the end user. And one of the latest things that we've launched is this clinical trials mapping, engine and automation. And so the patients really have a hunger for getting this information. And typically only about.

Two to 5% of patients will find and match the clinical trial. But there's such vast interest in finding that information, but people just don't know where to start. So we're just trying to listen to the user base and build things that they want and that helps them through a time in which, I just, I can't even imagine the day-to-day stresses and struggles that happen.

[00:11:17] Wendy: So everything you. Was like, oh my goodness. So I was diagnosed with cancer in 1975. am alive because of Sloan Kettering and a trial program.

Kids were not making it with it. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and children didn't make it there. There was no hope kids that had A.L.L. in the seventies and Sloan Kettering is one of the hospitals that did the first bone marrow transplant and I came into the hospital the year after they did that. Strangely and this is why trial programs are so important, I got bone marrows tests, but I never got a bone marrow transplant and I was one of the children that made it through just medications.

[00:12:02] Whitney Isola: Wow.

[00:12:03] Wendy: It wasn't even chemos. I don't know what the medications were, but it took three years. It was not an overnight thing. I went in and outta remission once. But it worked. It was a miracle cure at that time. And matter of fact, because I think if I'm correct, somebody from the Beatles at that time had, donated a CAT scan to Sloan Kettering.

This is how long we're going back there the reason why I share all of these things is, I'm amazed my mom found the right pediatrician who happened to know somebody at Sloan Kettering.

[00:12:35] Whitney Isola: Yeah.

[00:12:36] Wendy: All of what you're talking about is you have a brand new mom 

who's confused, who's been told by the way that her daughter has jaundice and she was making a big deal out of nothing until another pediatrician looked at me.

And so I think that when it comes to learning how to care and stand up for your rights as a patient, why this stuff is so valuable because. In the world of self-care if you were waiting for somebody else to do it. I know that sounds terrible. It may not happen.

I am curious though, as you're talking, because I've gone to doctors who feel both ways.

 I'll admit I go to Google, I, do, I Google to Cause I'm like, and marketing thing is like, if you don't like the information on Google, you should probably put out your own stuff. But that's, neither here nor there.. I'm just saying

[00:13:25] Whitney Isola: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:13:27] Wendy: but I am curious your feedback on that because I have the doctors who are like, we don't care what you read on Google.

And then I've had doctors who are like, I'm glad that you're taking care of yourself, finding out information. Now I I'm not a Googler that goes straight till I have cancer cause I've had it already, so I don't go there. I'm like that isn't this, but, 

[00:13:48] Whitney Isola: right.

[00:13:49] Wendy: I know that there's can be extremists.

So I'm interested in your viewpoint of that as correct information on this site.

[00:13:57] Whitney Isola: I think that, looking up information online is very valuable, particularly from the perspective of equipping yourself with the language, with the vernacular, with the jargon. It's gonna make an in-person meeting more productive if you understand the first 10 new words that are being thrown at you.

 I do think that there's value in people reading on their own or going and looking up information. I think where it becomes, first very like sad is when people prey on, others that are just trying to find out information. I mean trying to push what we know to be very sham.

 Quote cures, I used to get some pain. So even when I was a registered dietician and counseling, I would get some questions that were like, did you know that we already have the cure for diabetes? All you need to do is have this combination of honey and well the insert spices here.

And I would be like, don't want anyone to have diabetes just as much as you do. If I had the this information, it would really truly be out there. The medical community doesn't like hiding those types of like big breakthroughs cuz there's always more work to be done.

Yeah. So I, that side of it makes me a little bit sad and, I'm the same as you. I've never really been one to be like a hypochondriac. So I can read that stuff for myself and feel okay. But I do think that if people know that they're the personality type that's gonna go to the worst case scenario before they talk to a professional, maybe they should just read the first two paragraphs and not much further

[00:15:36] Wendy: I love my husband. My husband's one of those. He googles everything I'm dear God, of course he goes to, this is what I have, and he goes to the doctor. He doesn't have any of that. He has autoimmune issues, so I know he does a. Have serious things, but it's never the, I'm gonna be in the grave tomorrow type stuff.

But he thinks he does, and I'm like, okay. And then he goes to the doctor and again, I've also worked with the medical community for years, so that makes it a little bit less, where I don't get so dramatic. I do say that I'm a recovering drama mama, cuz in my twenties if the internet was around to that probably would've been.

But it's thankfully we didn't have everything we have today

So another question for you, cuz the show is about female entrepreneurship and I will say that I can't tell you the amount of women I've met over the course of my career who are dealing with or who have dealt with cancer and aren't entrepreneurs dealing with family members who have cancer.

But Female entrepreneurs aren't always, the first people to take care of themselves. They're just not, so, I'm curious, if in general, do women tend to find out later about their cancer or earlier based on women in general sometimes don't do self-care well. And I even know for me, and I am somebody who understands the importance of preventive care, and I'll be like, I don't have time to go to the doctor. I'll go in months and, and this somebody who knows.

I'm just curious if that's something you've come across.

[00:17:03] Whitney Isola: Yeah, it's an interesting question. So in terms of the female entrepreneurship, I think women in general are very good at putting themselves last. Go into go mode and make sure that all of these kind of buckets of their life are tended to and taken care of , and then all of a sudden, it comes to taking care of themselves and they're like, oh, wait a minute.

I forgot to do all of those things. I think in terms of being a female entrepreneur, I try to be fairly cognizant. Obviously there's periods of time where like it's just go, go, go. But I do try to make sure that I have some of those moments of downtime to connect with my family or, not look at emails or the computer for a day or two.

So I tend to be, doing an okay job of that now. I would say for the first couple of years, and particularly while I was like still working a full-time job, working on Whitty Health in every spare waking moment that I could, getting my mba, dating my husband at the time and trying to make room for a relationship.

 I honestly look back on the, those couple of years of my life and I'm I literally don't know how I did it. Basically from 4:00 AM or sometimes 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM like every minute of my day had something, it was just jam packed. And I don't think I could go back to a place of totally putting one foot in front of the other and

doing it, but it somehow I did. But now I think I like hit a little bit of a burnout point and, it took me a couple of weeks to even realize like, oh my goodness, you almost have p t s d from that. You can't even remember some parts of how you spent your days because you just put your head down and focused and did it.

So, now I really do try to spend time, being good about that. That said, flipping to the other part of your question about detection, I think there's probably an interesting mix. I think that there's a lot of awareness around things like breast cancer and screening and whatnot.

So I think that thankfully, we see some nice trends there in terms of detection. I do see the commentary and feedback from people that have like gynecologic and G I G U type cancers or even like bowel, cancers that it took a really long time to get to diagnosis because like they felt off, but they

bounced around from different types of providers until somebody figured out that it was a uterine cancer or an ovarian cancer, or sometimes the small bowel cancers. So I think that's an unfortunate sort of, space. There are ways to try to detect those cancers early, but they're very challenging and even, to this day people seem to get bounced around with providers.

One thing I, that I think that women do really well is engaging with a lot of the preventive care. So men are much less likely to schedule a colonoscopy or go to the dermatologist every year, but women are a little bit better at those behaviors. So I think that's where you end up seeing a little bit of a mix in terms of, early detection and treatment.

[00:20:25] Wendy: That leads me to a follow up question because as you were talking, so I heard a lot during the pandemic that. because people were so afraid to leave their homes. Understandably. The last place they wanted to be was at a doctor that when they were finally going, things that could have been avoided if they had gone during the pandemic they were getting diagnosed with, and I'm sure still getting diagnosed with.

Now, as people go back to the doctors, I don't know if that trend was true that.

[00:20:58] Whitney Isola: Yeah, I honestly don't know statistics around that, but I do know that it's true. I know that, a lot of things got caught later than they should have. Plus there was a point in time, if you remember, where like surgeries were, being stopped and rescheduled and there were restrictions on ability.

So even people that had maybe caught something pre pandemic ended up having to wait for some treatments, for months and months, which is just heartbreaking. All of the medical leadership was making the best decisions that they could at the time with such an unknown disease.

But it is a shame that there was that setback. And I know that a lot of the major advocacy organizations are doing a lot of data collection around that because as part of their fundraising platforms wanna get the messaging out there. But also just wanna make sure that people really understand that hey, we, we do this work for a reason.

There's really something to these behaviors that help catch, cancers early. 

[00:22:02] Wendy: I was just curious cuz that's a lot of what I had heard, was this idea of detection. And the other interesting thing that we, I'm gonna go back to what you said earlier, was. You have this platform where it prepares you to sit in front of your doctor so that you don't get bombarded with things that you're not gonna hear.

But the other interesting thing that I think came out of the pandemic in general, and I don't know if you agree with me, is that we can do so much of our healthcare online. I don't know. I've worked in the medical field, doing marketing for a long time and with doctors and even some of the doctors I worked with during the pandemic, they were like, shut down everything until they can come back in the office.

So you still have a little that out there. Some doctors have been really great and they've have a mix of it and other doctors are still like, Nope. Everybody's come back in the office. 

[00:22:53] Whitney Isola: Right. No, I know it was really nice to see because like obviously I was on the side of digital adoption. We were building Onco Power before, telehealth was sexy. So, it was really nice to see that adoption happen and there has been a little bit of going somewhat backwards, but the, you can see that the appetite is now there.

Particularly from patients, and let's call a spade a spade. Consumerism is entering healthcare. And so medicine is not as paternalistic as it was, 20, 30 years ago. And consumers are starting to demand more and more, for better access, for better options, for better information.

So I think we'll continue to really see that trend play out. It's so interesting though, to me, obviously there were so many kind of barriers and financial levers that assisted in the slow adoption of anything, telehealth or digital health options. And once those were stripped away in an emergency kind of format, , it was like, oh, wait a minute, this can work

So it's very cool to see the fact that you couldn't really, you could increase access for new populations. Populations that struggle with transportation or are in more rural areas, or even improving access for people that are working multiple jobs or do shift work and have different types of hours.

There's so much important access related work being done, that, , digital health and telehealth really helps to solve, cuz let's be serious at this point, there are very few people that don't actually know how to work a cell phone. And you could certainly make the case for oh, well not everyone has a smartphone, but Most people have access at this point via either a smartphone or like a family computer or a tablet.

And there are health systems giving some of these devices away for the sake of checking in more regularly with their patients. So it's really nice to see, the adoption.

[00:25:02] Wendy: I think it's fabulous. Anytime I can go to the doctor from home, you definitely get me there. I'm just saying it is like a lot easier, especially somebody who spends so much time on her computer, but, I'm glad that you said that. Not everybody has a smartphone, but I used to do homeless outreach with my husband.

Everybody has access to the public library. There are Ways for this at all levels now, and I think that's so important that we're not leaving anybody out by doing this. But we're actually, we can include more because I know for the homeless I served, if they could get to the library and they could have care there, that meant they can get everything done as opposed to trying to remember when the apartment was down the street that they'd never get to.

So it actually works out better in some of those communities where its more impoverished and they do have access to the free libraries, computers during the pandemic. It was hard, but usually that's and that's the thing I think that people have to realize is. I don't think doctor's offices are going away.

We're still going to have to go to the doctors for certain things.

[00:26:07] Whitney Isola: Replaces that real in-person physical exam. How often do you really need that when there's so much other dialogue and learning and capability.

[00:26:19] Wendy: Right. And I think that's where we're going to, and I think people get nervous about change cuz they're like, this is what we do, which is fantastic, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not knocking that and how you like, the self-care is completely up to you. There is no judgment.

But I think cost-wise on both the patient and the doctor it reduces cost. It red, it reduces a lot of things. It allows the doctors to see more patients, cuz you're not going from room to room. I mean, you still have to do charts and everything.

I get that. There's things that happen a little differently, a little bit more quicker when you can go from call to another that you can't necessarily do because especially if you're cleaning the office.

 So some of the doctors I've worked with, the only Google reviews that they get bad is that people hate waiting.

That's the probably the right, that's the biggest complaint. I had to wait.

 Here's my thing. If you are waiting, that doctor is good and taking care of another patient. So wait, that's my theory, but The reason why I say that is, is that this telehealth type of thing relieves a lot of that because it's really on your, as you talk about consumerism in the medical marketplace, it takes a lot of that away.

It takes this ability to see more patients, be more timely with it. There's a lot of actually good things, and I think that if you don't have to physically be seen by a doctor, you probably will get better care I have, I've seen it where I doctor has listened to me more online than if I would've went in person.

[00:27:50] Whitney Isola: Yeah, yeah. No, that's fair. I I have totally engaged with like telehealth type stuff when I'm feeling crummy and I know that something's going on, but is it really worth me waiting two or three days to go to an in-person visit when I can talk to a remote doctor and get a Zpack or, at least get like some peace of mind that my symptoms.

something I can live with for a couple days at home. But at the same token, like when I go for my annual, I have the most lovely time spent and chat with my P C P. She takes her time. We discuss everything and so I think unburdening them from some of the little runaround that doesn't really need to be part of their every day allows them to do a much more thorough and better job, or I shouldn't even say more thorough or better, but it allows them to make it feel human again.

And spend that time making eye contact and not trying to chart the entire time.

[00:28:51] Wendy: I concur. I have a new primary care physician cuz I've moved and I went there today and I'm like, so everything else I'd deal with kind of on my own. Terrible. But again, I'm a very self-aware patient, so she's like, I'll see you in five years.

 You'll see me if I have any trouble with anything. I'll be before five years, but I don't mind coming if I have something going on and I'll do the preventive in between. But it's just how I am as a patient. I'm a little too self-aware for some doctors. But I appreciate her time with me because, and now she knows that if I need her, that's when I see her, besides the preventive.

And I think that's important too, because that stops the burden from our doctors too, being part of the conversation as your community does, especially for cancer patients is being part of your own conversation, being your own health advocate and knowing when something's wrong.

I think of what a lot of us do is we go, there's something wrong, but it's not that bad. 

[00:29:43] Whitney Isola: Let me just power through and it's still an issue in a month or two.

Then I'll figure it out. 

[00:29:48] Wendy: And you're like, oh, that was not a good plan. 

[00:29:51] Whitney Isola: tough cuz like we all do it at some point or another, but at the same time , it's so important to try to listen to your body. I don't know. It's funny, after having my son, I had a little bit of lower back trouble and I had went, to the doctor and they just gave me like a little steroid taper.

And then I went to physical therapy and every time I went to physical therapy, if I saw a new physical therapist, they were like, Wow, you caught this early. We're doing well here. So many people wait until it's like a major issue and then we have so much to do.

I was like, yeah. I try to be like pretty self-aware of my body. Sadly right? A product of me feeling totally capable to just run to the doctor and go get physical therapy is the fact that I have very good health insurance. And I don't have to Worry about the other side of that decision.

So that's a whole different conversation we could have. But yeah, it's amazing what that little bit of early detection or early intervention can do in terms of not making a problem more complicated.

[00:30:54] Wendy: Yeah, so I have one last question. I'd love to know from you, especially for those entrepreneurs out there who either have cancer or dealing with somebody, a loved one with cancer. Cuz I don't know where cancer hasn't affected somebody at some point in time, For their selves or for a loved one.

How can they find Onco Power for one? And then two, what are the useful tools, especially if they're a caretaker? I think you've said there was some of that in there too.

[00:31:21] Whitney Isola: Yeah. Yeah. So, it's an app as well as a web-based platform and it's totally free to, download and join so they can go to the app store, whether it's the Android, Google App Store or the iOS app store, and search for Onco power. Or you can go to Onco Power. Oncopower.org. And sign up through, through there.

It's a supportive care community. Sometimes I refer to it as a support group on steroids, so you can, Ask your questions to the community, or you can ask questions privately to a panel of board certified, oncologists as well as registered dieticians, behavioral therapists. As I mentioned before, we try to make sure that there's more than just the oncologist perspective on there so that people can get a 360 view of what they're going through.

In terms of patients as well as care providers, they can, share records, share education videos. If their provider is on Onco Power and they're receiving any level of care through it, it's pretty easy to send information right to them or to, send compliance with medication and things like that.

But even if your provider isn't using onco power, there's tons of tools that are just available to the end user. One of my favorites is something that called the Daily Check-in where, it was just a quick little prompt once a day for how are you feeling physically and then assigning an adjective and how are you feeling emotionally and assigning an adjective.

 And then there's a prompt at the end where you don't have to, but you can like journal that. And so it's just a really nice little mindfulness activity. And there's some really nice data regarding creating like a gratitude practice and the role that can have, in a cancer journey. and people can choose to also share that with

Other users on the feed, or not. And it's been really cool to see people sharing, how they're feeling and why they're feeling that way and cheerleading each other on. So it's one small little tool that we have, but one that I think is a nice, entree to creating a gratitude practice for patients.

We have a meditation and mindfulness suite. We have nutrition content. We have an education library that covers everything from how to care for a port to specific detailed information about various medications and treatment options to symptom management. Both from the perspective of an oncologist as well as a registered dietician.

So there's a lot of different content. And then , the clinical trials mapping has been really cool to see grow. There's a lot of, engagement there on the patient side of things, and we just keep making the tool smarter and smarter. Instead of going to clinical trials.gov and getting bombarded with 60,000 options, and then you're not sure if you're using the right words.

You can be a member of Onco Power and you can say the kind of the big bucket of where you are and what cancer you have. And we will totally help navigate you to, the dozens of clinical trials that are the most relevant, at least to start, and then the next dozen if we even get to that point.

So, I'm just totally in awe of the people and the engagement and the power of community and the way people really can lift each other up and say, Hey, did you ask about this question? Or, oh, I needed to get this genetic test.

Cuz the science is changing and the tools in the toolbox are expanding. And so we're trying to make sure that all that information seeps out to everyone. It doesn't belong, as we said earlier, just in New York City healthcare, you really need to be able to get access to that everywhere.

And so that's part of the mission that we have in terms of helping to democratize access to information and care.

[00:35:24] Wendy: Oh, this has been a fantastic show. I'm you came and talked to me. It really is a special topic to me. I am in awe of anybody who works with oncology patients. it's truly an honor. So thank you for coming on the show and thank you for what you're doing for our community.

If you are entrepreneur and you are dealing with somebody who has cancer or you have cancer, check out the app, find a community that works for you. Because that's the other thing I was talking to somebody on another show about, actually about my son who does not have cancer, but there is something about when you can be grateful and when you have support and when you have community and when you hear, feel heard, that really can change.

How you deal with your cancer more than anything else. And I believe in that kind of sort of support and meditation and all of that stuff because it, there is the medical healing. And then there either the physical medical healing and then there is the, the soul-based healing that has to happen.

And when we can do things with gratitude despite what we're going through, it makes all the difference in the world for healing, your body to listen and heal itself. So I just think that's amazing. So thank you so much for coming on the show. Whitney, can you tell people how to get in touch with you, if they wanna reach out or do you want them all to go to the app.

[00:36:48] audioWhitneyIsola11686817916: Come join us on the app. If you wanna reach out to me personally, I'm more than happy to chat. My email is Whitney, w h i t n e y, at Witty Health. That's w I t T Y Health. dot com. Yeah, but reach out. We have Twitter that's like an at onco power handle, as well as an Instagram account.

 You could certainly find us in different ways on social media. I obviously am a little biased, but I think, joining the community is the most powerful way to experience what we're doing and understand it. And particularly other, women in healthcare, women in business, I just think reaching out and connecting and there have been so many people in my life that

Help pull you forward and without even realizing it. And that's like the best threads to be building in terms of More professional and career type contacts. So I love everything about the learning process. I'm always happy to be transparent about all of the good, the bad, the ugly things that have happened along the way and things that have wasted my time or that I wish I had learned a little sooner.

So please do feel free to get in touch. And Wendy, thank you so much for the time today. This has been such a pleasure. And it's so incredible to me the alignment with your story. It gave me chills earlier when you were talking about your mom, cuz it's so true.

Sometimes it just takes that one person that just relentlessly fights and knows that something's wrong. And so it's incredible that she, was able to track down the right resources for you.

[00:38:28] Wendy: Yeah, every day, I'm amazed by that happening. But, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge and, what you've helped create.

[00:38:39] Whitney Isola: Thank you for having me. This is such a joy. 

[00:38:42] Wendy: To our listeners, we'll be back every Wednesday and Saturday with another show. Please stay tuned, subscribe. If you like what you heard today, please leave us a review and until then, have a blessed day.


Whitney IsolaProfile Photo

Whitney Isola

Entrepreneur/Registered Dietitian/Co-Founder

Whitney Isola is a digital health entrepreneur and Registered Dietitian. Whitney co-founded Witty Health, a company that focuses on building smart digital health tools. Witty Health's first product, OncoPower, is a platform for supportive oncology care and clinical trial mapping. Whitney has a passion for intuitive workflows, building in social support mechanisms for navigating one's health care experiences, and stripping away the silos in traditional healthcare.
Whitney's previous experiences include directing Food and Clinical Nutrition operations within NYC Health + Hospitals, launching ambulatory care nutrition services for multi-specialty groups, and delivering clinical nutrition care. Whitney has an MBA from Haslam School of Business (University of Tennessee) and both an MS and BS from Boston University.
When she's not driving strategy and operations for OncoPower and Witty Health, Whitney can be found cooking, hiking, doing a DIY project at home, or traveling with her husband, son, and dog.