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Telehealth for Cancer Management During a Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world and that 1 in 6 deaths globally can be attributed to cancer. Furthermore, 70% of cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Approximately a third of those fighting cancer rely on long-distance caregivers who can assist them but can still struggle to arrange transportation, schedule care, or find medication and medical equipment, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many ways telehealth can assist cancer patients during the different parts of their healthcare journey. More often than not, many people with sudden alarming symptoms head to the emergency room because they don’t have the time to make appointments, or they are unsure of where to go for those specific symptoms. The Jefferson Health Center in Philadelphia has used telehealth in an innovative way that saves time for patients and prevent overcrowding in the emergency rooms. The use of triage screening via telemedicine before a patient even goes to the hospital allows for patients to have a quick consultation that allows them to skip the emergency room and go straight to the cancer center. This improves administration and safety, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that they can get treatment with a lower risk of exposure to the virus.

Improved communication is another advantage provided by telehealth. Whether bedside at home, in a hospital, or anywhere you may be, physicians can check in with their patients or vice-versa. In a time of restrictions and lockdowns in countries around the world, patients can stay in touch with loved ones and received continued care in a safe environment. Remote patient monitoring is an important part of telehealth and can enhance cancer treatment. Many patients suffering from cancer prefer to get treatment at home. With telehealth services and remote monitoring patients who are receiving chemotherapy or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T- cell infusions can get nightly check-ins remotely from their caregivers. Rather than being confined to the hospital during the term of their treatment, they can do so from the comforts of their own home with their loved ones, particularly if they live far from the hospital.

Telehealth does not only improve communication between patient and physicians, but between healthcare professionals themselves. Quick information sharing of analysis and reports is vital in treating cancer, which has a varying speed of spreading. The success rate of treating cancer is more likely to be improved by catching the disease or changes in the patient’s condition early. The increased interoperability between pathologists and oncologists allows for treatment options to be planned more efficiently.

Global Telehealth Exchange (GTHE) is a state-of-the-art telehealth solution that is HIPAA-compliant, secure, and provides worldwide access to healthcare. With access to doctors globally, and the ability to securely share information, patients and healthcare professionals using GTHE will have no problems getting the help they need from anywhere in the world. And, as many specialties require better or quicker communication channels, having easy access to full medical records can help healthcare providers to diagnose and advise treatment options more efficiently. General practitioners and specialists using GTHE can easily make referrals or share documentation when needed.

GTHE offers many benefits to healthcare providers including:

With GTHE, healthcare providers can connect with their patients seamlessly and provide a better remote standard of care. If you want to expand your medical practice without investing in expensive software, visit the GTHE website and sign up now.

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