COSA 2017: New eHealth technology empowers patients and helps improve care

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Experts attending the COSA conference discussed how an Australian first integrated eHealth solution is empowering those with cancer and helping health professionals improve the care they provide.

Professor Afaf Girgis from the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, UNSW Sydney, has been rolling out the innovative new model of healthcare – called PROMPT-Care with over 350 cancer patients in NSW.

The technology is the first fully integrated eHealth system that electronically captures information about symptoms, distress and unmet needs from the patient and provides data to their cancer care team in real time.

Professor Girgis says that the process is simple and allows health professionals to get better insights into their patient’s health so they can provide appropriate supportive care.

“A patient can fill out the form on a tablet in a waiting room and the results are uploaded into that patient’s electronic medical record for review by the medical team in real time. It empowers the person with cancer by providing them with an avenue to track their own wellbeing and share it with their medical team – while at the same time providing health professionals with meaningful data they can track over time.”

The technology also uses the information provided to direct patients to online resources and information relevant to their situation.

“Having information on a cancer patient’s state of mind, distress, symptoms and wellbeing is just as important as getting a pathology report following a medical test. By getting this information in real time, health professionals can start a conversation with their patients immediately and appropriately tailor their care,” said Prof Girgis.

The results of the pilot of the eHealth system show that 96 percent of patients find completing the online questionnaire easier than pen and paper solutions. Following the success of the trial, further work is now underway to roll out the technology more widely.

The research is supported by the Cancer Institute NSW and the Bupa Health Foundation.

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The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

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