Tools that make it easier for patients to access care and for their physicians to monitor their health status have also emerged with the advent of digital resources. In the closing panel of the NCCN Policy Summit, participants described tools developed by their own organizations to improve quality of care and the patient experience. More information on these tools can be found at NCCN.org/summits.
Mobile apps created by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) aim to improve the quality of life of patients and their families, said Amanda LaRussa, Director, Patient Education and Web Content, at LLS.
“We created the LLS Health Manager mobile app as a tool to help patients keep track of their health, manage side effects, and take some of the burden off daily tasks,” she said. “By tracking medication, side effects, food, and hydration, patients and their doctors can begin to identify patterns and develop strategies to help them do so.”
The Health Manager app is now being translated into Spanish and French Canadian versions. In addition, an app for children with cancer, the LLS Coloring Book for Kids, allows them to use their creativity to help in navigating the cancer experience.
Tufia Haddad, MD
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a tool that collects patient health information and transmits it to doctors, said Tufia Haddad, MD, Chair of Practice Innovation and Platform, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and Medical Director of Care at Home, Center for Digital Health. Because it allows early detection and intervention, “RPM has resulted in fewer patients being hospitalized and shorter lengths of stay, as well as lower mortality risk,” she said. Moreover, patients’ response to RPM has been positive. “They feel supported, monitored, and secure and also have close contact and access to nurses and the care team.”
Virtual programs with information and support for patients with cancer have been created by the Cancer Support Community (CSC), a global nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide. Kim Agricola, Director of Digital Content at CSC, described these resources, including videos with recipes to support the nutritional needs of patients with cancer; exercise, yoga, and meditation videos; and videos on psychosocial resources and support. Also included are resources for health-care professionals to bolster personal and workplace wellness and provide opportunities for educational growth.
Artificial intelligence, digital therapeutics, telehealth, biometric monitoring: the terms alone are enough to suggest that cancer care is entering a new age, one characterized by tools and practices based on technologic innovation. To explore the impact of these new tools, the National...