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A New Multi-functional and Connected Mobile App Guiding Acupressure Use for Self-management and Monitoring of Cancer Related Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances


5 Point App, Inc.

37 W 20TH ST STE 607
NEW YORK, NY, 10011-3718

Award Year: 2021


HUBZone Owned: No

Woman Owned: No

Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes

Congressional District: 12

Tagged as:


Phase I

Seal of the Agency: HHS

Awarding Agency


Branch: NIH

Total Award Amount: $397,367

Contract Number: 1R43CA261446-01

Agency Tracking Number: R43CA261446

Solicitation Topic Code: 102

Solicitation Number: PA20-260


PROJECT SUMMARY Fatigue and sleep disturbances, common, distressing, and debilitating symptoms of cancer and its treatment, negatively impact physical, emotional, and social health of millions of cancer patients. Most of the 1.7 million Americans diagnosed with cancer in 2020 will suffer cancer and treatment-related symptoms; up to 90% receiving treatment experience fatigue; 30% may experience long-lasting fatigue. Sleep disturbances (affecting up to 75% of patients) contribute to poor health and may exacerbate fatigue. Mounting evidence indicates that acupressure, which is unfamiliar and infrequently used by cancer survivors, can reduce fatigue and improve sleep. 5 Point App, Inc. is developing its first mobile health (mHealth) software, EnergyPoints, a patient activation and educational app that offers an opportunity to mainstream acupressure—a beneficial strategy to help cancer patients self-manage their symptoms. The EnergyPoints App will motivate and guide cancer patients to implement daily acupressure protocols to self-manage fatigue and sleep disturbances. The app will connect individual sleep and activity data synced from an Apple Watch/Fitbit with self-reports of symptoms, allowing patients and clinical providers to monitor symptom response to acupressure self-treatment. The long- term goal is to improve quality of life for cancer patients suffering from fatigue and sleep disturbances using acupressure as a safe, universally affordable self-care technique. The team will first develop a fully functional prototype app, validating data accuracy and debugging programming. Specific aim 1 is to confirm cancer patients can accurately and consistently self-administer two acupressure protocols using the app. Specific aim 2 is to assess the usability of the app and the fitness tracker. Using an integrated agile, user-centered approach, 20 patients with cancer who are experiencing fatigue will use the app to self-administer acupressure (twice daily for 1 week) while wearing a fitness tracker. User performance video-recordings, and feedback via talk-aloud session, debriefing, and exit interview, will be used to improve all prototype app features in sprints. Results will provide evidence of feasibility and usability: specifically, the EnergyPoints prototype app can teach and guide cancer patients to perform acupressure as directed, is acceptable, and can connect and accurately share important health data from a fitness tracker. In a subsequent Phase 2 SBIR application, a clinical trial is planned to examine efficacy of the app in improving fatigue and sleep in a sample of cancer patients. Additionally, EnergyPoints App features will be extended by adding: 1) use of essential oils; 2) tailored acupressure delivery; 3) clinical monitoring to integrate with cancer care; 4) social connection features, 5) additional measures (e.g. pain, depression, activation) and 6) compatibility with other trackers (e.g. Amazon Halo). Potential users include millions of cancer patients before and after treatment. The initial commercialization strategy includes multiple revenue streams and marketing directed towards patients, caregivers, practitioners, cancer centers, hospitals, medical practices, and corporate sponsors.PROJECT NARRATIVE Cancer-related fatigue and sleep disturbances afflict millions of cancer patients. Evidence suggests the use of specific acupressure protocols may ameliorate these under-treated and debilitating effects of cancer and cancer therapies. In this SBIR, 5 Point App will develop and test EnergyPoints App, a multi-functional and connected mobile app to teach, guide, and motivate potentially millions of cancer patients to practice safe, convenient, and affordable daily acupressure for self-management of their fatigue and sleep disturbance.

Award Schedule

  1. 2020
    Solicitation Year

  2. 2021
    Award Year

  3. September 16, 2021
    Award Start Date

  4. August 31, 2022
    Award End Date

Principal Investigator

Phone: N/A

Business Contact

Phone: (917) 327-0827

Research Institution

Name: N/A