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What Role Does Technology Play in MPN Symptom Management?

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What Role Does Technology Play in MPN Symptom Management? 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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Lisa Hatfield:

So another question for Dr. Palmer, Is technology playing a role in accelerating progress in MPN care, not just the technology of telemedicine, but other technologies? And what role does technology play in symptom management and in clinical trials? You mentioned that you can maybe do telemedicine every other month, but what other roles does technology play?

Dr. Palmer:

So that’s a great question. I actually have been fortunate enough to work with an informaticist who will be joining our faculty this summer, and what we are trying to do is be able to utilize our electronic medical record and some of the forms and texts that you can use within it to be able to capture data and be able to understand it. From the standpoint of even my day-to-day practice, one of the things that’s very important in myeloproliferative diseases is capturing the symptoms score. And this is a way of measuring some of the symptoms that can be very bothersome and troublesome to patients with myeloproliferative diseases and has been validated and utilized throughout multiple studies and multiple settings. So I’m actually in the process of getting that built into our EMR here, so that before patients even come and see me, they can fill out that form of questions. And I think that the sky is the limit. There’s so many patient-reported outcomes and so many things that are going to be important to capture as we move forward. And a lot of times you can ask somebody, how do you feel? And they say, “Oh, I feel great.”

Because what else are they supposed to say? Social norm is to say everything’s fine, and then you start to ask them specific things like, “Are you having itching? Are you having fatigue?” And all of a sudden it comes out that they’re really not feeling that well. So this will be really important, and if you can have people do that beforehand, and I think that we can gain a lot of information that can really help utilize the small amount of time we have to focus it on the areas that need to be focused upon.

Lisa Hatfield:

That’s great to hear. Yeah.

Dr. Palmer:

Yeah, the other thing that I didn’t mention is that I think being able to do research, it will be very helpful if we can capture all the data about patients in a way that can be outsourced to a database and then analyzed versus having to hire people to extract information directly from the chart, which is a very laborious process and often not very accurate. So that’s one of the things that we’re working on here is to say, “How do I not only create this template for capturing information from the patient, but how do I make my clinical notes into something that can be harnessed for a database that can then be queried for different questions to try to understand the disease better?”