Thanks to COVID-19, leaving the house to visit a doctor’s office can become a risky activity for people with metastatic breast cancer. One of the biggest challenges created by the coronavirus is the ability to get accessible, affordable, and high-quality healthcare in a time when this is vital. This challenge has led to a surge of advances in technology to provide alternative ways to get cancer care, including telemedicine, mobile apps for your phone, and artificial intelligence solutions.
The transition to virtual care produces several benefits for cancer patients who can’t make their way into the physician’s office, but it’s not without its downsides. Learn more about the pros and cons of virtual care options below.
Cancer care challenges during the pandemic
- Fewer Breast Cancers Being Diagnosed During COVID-19 Pandemic According to breastcancer.org, breast cancer diagnoses have dropped by 51.8% during the pandemic, meaning that fewer people are receiving a diagnosis for breast cancer, receiving treatment for their cancer, or being enrolled in clinical trials.
Virtual Care options during the pandemic
- What is telemedicine? eVisit provides comprehensive information on everything telemedicine-related including how it works, as well as the many ways that telemedicine is being used for patients today.
- Applying Telemedicine, Informatics to Cancer Care: COVID-19 and Beyond Clinical Oncology News discusses some of the pros and cons to the surge in telemedicine appointments.
- App Calculates Risk of Delaying Cancer Care During Pandemic Mobile Apps are another way metastatic breast cancer patient can use technology to stay safe during coronavirus. One group at the University of Michigan developed an app that uses a patient’s cancer information and local COVID data to calculate a person’s risk of delaying treatment due to the pandemic.
- Transforming Reality: Using Virtual Reality to Treat Patients with Cancer More cancer centers have started using virtual reality headsets to help cancer patient to manage treatment side effects, such as anxiety and pain.
- The need for AI in cancer care has never been clearer Artificial intelligence in cancer care has also found ways to assist cancer care such as speeding up and improving diagnostics and imaging results, promoting cancer research, and more.
Remote Patient Monitoring
- Can an Apple Watch assess symptoms in cancer patients? Remote patient monitoring devices collect and track individual health data. During the pandemic, clinicians can use this data to evaluate their patients without ever stepping into a doctor’s office.
- Wearable tech can spot symptoms before you even realize you’re sick The Washington Post discusses how these same remote patient monitoring devices can be utilized to track coronavirus symptoms in the same way they are being used to recognize undetected issues like cancer.
For more telemedicine-related information: Metastatic Trial Talk: Telemedicine in Clinical Trials
Find more information about Breast Cancer Care during COVID-19, including additional information on telehealth initiatives: Metastatic Trial Talk: Cancer Care During COVID-19
For additional related COVID-19 & Cancer information: Metastatic Trial Talk: COVID-19 & Cancer