With the increased use of oral anti-cancer agents, patients are often at home when they experience a side effect and therefore need support in deciding how to self-manage and/or report it to their healthcare professional. This decision is often time-sensitive as a delay in reporting some side effects can lead to long term complications, life threatening events and an interruption to their cancer treatment. Involving and supporting patients in managing their condition is empowering and provides them with some of the control they often lose during the cancer journey.
The use of technology to support communications and early detection of problems is well documented in the literature with some studies evaluating their use in cancer care. Technology has the potential to offer a complementary supportive function by being available 24/7 to provide advice and guidance while monitoring patient reported outcomes (PROs) whenever the need arises for information in regards to their own therapy thus offering alternative processes for all to have equal access. However, despite this positive evidence, new technologies have proven slow to become accepted, integrated and implemented in practice resulting in innovations remaining within the realm of research and not within the reach of everyday practice. This could be partially due to a lack of an implementation strategy.
I’m involved in this research to study and support how technology can improve the patient journey.
Recent interview on the topic with myself at British Oncology Pharmacy Association annual conference https://www.vjoncology.com/video/ahh-9e604um-smart-app-to-allow-patients-to-manage-their-side-effects-independently/