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Technology and Cancer Care

Posted 11/30/2016

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  Let me begin with the admission that this is not one of my best topics--not to infer that it is unimportant, but that I am definitely not the most tech savvy person around. I am aware, that at least for my generation, I am also not the least savvy, but I quickly become lost in technical conversations or animated discussions about social media. There has also been the reality that, as a clinician, I need to be careful about boundaries in my life, and I have avoided Facebook or other sites that might awkwardly invite patients into my personal life.

  Having said that, there seem to be two major categories of technology and cancer care: the hospital/office/clinician side and the patient side. Within the hospital, virtually everything is now electronic, including patients have access to all of their notes. For patients, there have been a number of potentially helpful apps developed, and I am sure there will be more.

  From Cancer Net comes this useful article; I would do better to just move right along to the experts here.

Can Personal Tech and Social Media Improve Cancer Care?
November 28, 2016 · Michael J. Fisch, MD, MPH; Melissa K. Accordino, MD; and Arlene E. Chung, MD, MHA, MMCi

More and more, new communication technology is being used to provide cancer care.
Web-based tools, wearable technology, and smartphones let lots of people engage with each other and share
information. Medical institutions and individual health care professionals are developing ways to use this technology to improve the quality of medical care.
Oncologists can use social media to interact with each other and to engage with the public on topics like science, medicine, and cancer care. Social media can also connect doctors with patients and allow them to connect with the public in a broader sense. For example, doctors can follow individual cancer survivors and their family members on social media to support a healthy exchange of ideas and perspectives about illness, science, and health care. It should be noted that doctors should never share or weigh in on patients’ private medical information on social media.
Electronic health records (EHRs) have become standard in cancer care. An EHR is an electronic system that can:
Collect and store patient data
Provide information
Allow health care providers to enter treatment plans
Support decision making

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