How Cancer Patients are Benefiting from Telemedicine
You’ve probably heard of telemedicine by now, but what about taleoncology? The term refers to the application of telemedicine in cancer care. This involves everything from diagnostics to treatment and supportive care.
With the invention of telemedicine, oncologists can consult with specialists remotely – making it easier than ever to provide patients with the best treatment plan for their condition. Telemedicine helps cancer patients gain access to care, makes it easier to manage the treatment of side effects, and can potentially alter the outcome of treatment.
“Centralized telecare management coupled with automated symptom monitoring resulted in improved pain and depression outcomes in cancer patients receiving care in geographically dispersed urban and rural oncology practices,” according to the authors of the Indiana Cancer Pain and Depression Study.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, patients with advanced cancer who used an online tool to report symptoms between visits to their doctor increased survival by 5 months, compared to patients who did not use the online tool. Cancer patients who used the online tool also saw an improvement in their quality of life.
“With innovations such as video conferencing, telephone-based care management, and automated symptom monitoring – high-quality health care is becoming much more convenient and much more affordable,” says Richard J. Boxer, MD and Visiting Professor of Urology at david Geffen School of medicine at UCLA.
“Now, it is possible to bring health care to the patient instead of bringing the patient to health care,” he said.
Telemedicine is important to cancer patients who already carry a heavy burden. Video conferencing makes it easier for patients to remain compliant with treatment plans and report side effects. It also provides access to the best doctors, not just the closest.
The U.S. is facing a doctor shortage. Access to a doctor can impact whether or not a patient sticks to their treatment plan. Whether it’s distance or lack of availability, telemedicine provides a solution. Patients can make visits from anywhere with any device, and doctors can see more patients in less time.
Telemedicine continues to gain popularity. It’s impact is far-reaching, and especially vital to cancer patients who need additional access and support from their physicians.