How Did COVID-19 Impact MPN Treatment?
How Did COVID-19 Impact MPN Treatment? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.
How was MPN treatment impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Watch as expert Dr. Jeanne Palmer discusses the positive and negative impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on care of MPN patients.
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All right, so, Dr. Palmer, the COVID pandemic has resulted in significant changes to many aspects of daily living for all of us, but for patients like myself who are living with cancer, there are different realities that we have to deal with, so can you give a brief overview of the impact that COVID-19 has had on MPNs.
So I think the impact of COVID-19, I think we just spoke about some of the favorable things that telemedicine became a real reality, some of the detrimental things, enrolling in clinical trials has been very, very difficult because of the fact that, number one, the public health emergency, some patients weren’t able to travel. And then number two is, I think there has been sort of an exodus of people working in healthcare, I think healthcare has become extremely stressful because of all the pressures associated with the COVID pandemic. So having the appropriate staffing for clinical trials has been difficult, but one of the things that I think is coming out of this that I think will be really positive is there are a number of studies that are being looked at now that are actually creating ability to have some of the visits done by a telemedicine. So taking what’s not as critical to be seen in person, and what labs we don’t need to necessarily get that need to go to a central processing area, but there are actually ways that we are working with home health care companies with different labs to be able to provide some of this ability to do telemedicine, especially on the clinical trials where there’s monthly visits.
I have had patients travel from multiple different areas of the country to be on clinical trials. I’m usually more in the Southwest or at least the West Coast, but I think that with some of these changes, it’s going to be a lot more of a reality for it. So I think some of the pressures of the COVID pandemic will…again, there will be sort of a silver lining of it, and that we may have this ability to do that, because even if I looked at…you look at the pre-COVID clinical trials, if there was a trial that needed monthly visits, which a great number of them do, I would say the majority of my studies that I have for patients with MPNs require monthly visits, at least the first six months. Being able to have that extended out is hugely important and will allow access for it, so if we can have a virtual visit, even every other visit, that can make a big difference in somebody’s ability to access new treatments.