29.05.2018: DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND CANCER CARE
Digital technology has become essential tool in our personal and professional lives. As it was expected this technology has been incorporated in the health care and health industry. This technology is becoming increasingly helpful to cancer patients through collection of real world data, real world evidence as well as facilitating clinical trials. More important, digital technology is now a major player in cancer patients support programs.
Real World Data
Over the last years, the use of digital tools to collect and store huge amounts of health-related data has been enormously increasing. Real world data (RWD) includes these health-related data which are collected from a variety of sources such as:
1)Electronic health records
3)Claim and billing activities
Analysis of real world data produce clinical evidence of potential benefits or risks of a medical product and therefore constitutes the Real World Evidence (RWE).
Both RWD and RWE are used by health authorities, health care community and industry to monitor safety coverage decisions, clinical trial designs etc.
The usefulness of real-world evidence is to appreciate the potential to complete the information gained from traditional clinical trials which have always limitations due to their size, the eligibility criteria etc.
Research Clinical Trials
Clinical trials, although remain the gold standard, are conducted with specific populations and in specialized environments which differ from the real world of clinical and home settings.
Moreover, the expense of conducting traditional trials has been tremendously growing.
Access to real world data, in spite of the possible limitations of quality and accuracy, may provide a new insight into more practical information about medical products, patients outcome, epidemiological issues etc. Also, allows researchers to identify cohorts of interest, to personalize research or even more to generate hypotheses for prospective trials.
Therefore, advances in technology are bringing stakeholders together to explore the data in real time with the principal goal to improve patients outcome and bring better drugs and devices faster.
Cancer Patient Support
Digital patients support programs is an area of increased interest in the developed and developing world. This is in particular important for cancer patients for whom the day-to-day support is absolutely necessary due to the disease needs. Certainly, smartphones and apps are helpful, but work as one-way information.
The personal, anonymous, via e-mail contact brings together the cancer patient and the oncology team behind the platform that provide information, respond to queries, generate questions and covers daily needs. This contact doesnot substitute the treating physicians but acts complimentary saving time and effort.
This personal digital contact is extremely important, because each patient is an individual with unique needs. Cancer patients support is not one-size-fits-all but purely personalized. So, with patients engagement, the digital support programs give to them the means to take control of their disease and therefore improve outcome.