Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Revolutionizing Cancer Care: Smartphone App Enhances Patient Experience

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In an innovative stride towards personalized healthcare, a newly developed smartphone application is proving to be a game-changer in collecting patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for cancer patients undergoing biomarker-based therapies. This application, designed by an interdisciplinary expert panel, is tailored to address the specific needs of neuro-oncological patients by tracking symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and psychological stress. The feasibility of this digital tool was evaluated through a pilot study involving patients and healthcare professionals, showcasing high compliance and integration into everyday life.

The app, created after a thorough analysis of 292 neuro-oncological patients, includes validated assessments for HRQoL and symptom burden. Its development was guided by an expert panel, ensuring that it meets the rigorous standards required for medical use. The application allows patients to complete questionnaires from the comfort of their homes, thereby simplifying the process of regular health monitoring.

The pilot study recruited 14 patients who utilized the app to regularly submit their health data. Additionally, interviews with nine patients, four healthcare providers, and one caregiver provided qualitative insights into the app’s usability and practicality. Most notably, the app was well-received due to its ease of use and the convenience it offered, allowing for seamless integration into daily routines.


Pilot Study Confirms Effectiveness of Smartphone App in Monitoring Cancer Patient Well-Being

User-usable inferences from the study:

  • High patient compliance, evidenced by 82% on-time completion of weekly questionnaires.
  • Effective monitoring of psychological distress, with observed median distress scores providing tangible data on patient well-being.
  • Valuable feedback from users and healthcare professionals emphasized the app’s practicality and positive impact on patient management.

The results of the pilot study highlighted not only the feasibility but also the broad acceptance of the smartphone application. The application facilitated detailed and real-time tracking of patient well-being, which is critical for adjusting treatments and improving outcomes. The median distress score and Global health score, calculated from patient inputs, underscored the app’s effectiveness in capturing essential health metrics.

Encouraged by the positive outcomes of this pilot study, the developers plan to expand the use of this app in biomarker-guided therapies. This expansion aims to systematize PRO assessments across a wider patient base, potentially setting a new standard in the treatment and monitoring of cancer patients.

Original Article: Neurooncol Pract. 2024 Jan 20;11(3):336-346. doi: 10.1093/nop/npae002. eCollection 2024 Jun.

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