What Telehealth Tools Impact Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care?
What Telehealth Tools Impact Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.
How are myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) patients impacted by telehealth tools? Experts Dr. AnaMaria Lopez from Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and patient Lisa Hatfield discuss specific situations and telehealth tools that benefit patients for improved MPN care.
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Dr. Lopez, can you also speak more broadly to innovative telehealth tools that are making an impact on symptom management and overall cancer care?
Dr. AnaMaria Lopez:
Sure. So one of the things that we know, is that, for example, people have appointments every three weeks, or they have appointments once a month with the oncologist, and a lot can happen in that time. So setting up systems that are assisted by technology, so that patients can report their symptoms in real time can be very helpful. And some of this may require…it may not be a common way where the person may be familiar going to a computer or going to their phone to kind of say, “This is how I’m feeling.” So that may require some engagement education, but often regardless of age, regardless of background, people find that really easy and find that so helpful to be able to say, “Oh, was it two weeks ago that I had that?” As opposed to just saying, “Hey, I just had this,” and then it can happen anytime day or night that the patient can report. And that way there’s…it’s just so helpful to have an intervention in real time.
The other part that’s good is that often some of these systems can kind of track. So we can look at it together and say, “You know what? Your fatigue tends to be a couple of weeks after therapy, so how can we either prepare for that?” Or just to have the reassurance that, “Yes you have that depth, but it gets better and you get through it.” So being able to look retrospectively and identify that can be helpful and I think also just the ease for people to be able to connect with multiple specialists, sometimes to have multidisciplinary visits where not only does the patient meet with everyone, but the patient can see that we are all meeting and interacting together. So all of those are incredible tools, one of my favorites though, one of my favorites is patients who are in the hospital and patients who are in the hospital a long time, on some occasions. So and even if a person’s not there a long time, it can feel like a long time, so to use the technology, not just to connect the patient, the healthcare team, but to use the technology to connect the patient with his or her family. And I think especially…I mean, a lot of people have smartphones, but it’s using your minutes, sometimes the Internet may not be so strong. So to use the technology that would be used for the clinical piece to have that available in the inpatient setting so that patients can feel connected.
Yeah, that’s a really great thought that you brought up, too. I know when the pandemic was in full swing, but patients were starting to go back into the office to see their provider. For me, I was not allowed to take my husband in with me, so I went in alone. I was far enough along in my journey. I didn’t necessarily need a care partner with me, but some patients do, maybe a newly diagnosed patient. So that is a really great point. Say, a patient has to come in by himself or herself, is that a technology they can use? Are you willing to let them use their phone to maybe FaceTime during that call or we had to use the actual physical landline because my phone did not connect, the signal wasn’t strong enough. But do you allow that during your appointments to have patients contact somebody?
Dr. AnaMaria Lopez:
Okay. That’s great. Yeah.
Dr. AnaMaria Lopez:
And also there’s pandemic, but there’s also…people live everywhere. So you could say their son could be in California and I’m in Philadelphia and this way it’s okay, we’ll just beam them in.