May 20, 2021

Digital clinical trials project for cancer gets underway 

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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is leading a project to expand enrollment onto clinical trials for cancer treatment

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has partnered with CodeX (Common Oncology Data Elements eXtensions), on a project that will use digital technology to increase patient enrollment onto cancer clinical trials. 

The project will integrate cancer clinical trial matching into existing electronic health records (EHRs) and patient data management (PDM) systems, using open data standards and application programming interfaces (APIs).

The aim of the Integrated Trial Matching Project is to make it easier for patients to enroll at smaller and more diverse medical centres. Research has shown there are systemic barriers to clinical trial participation, with a lack of diversity being a significant issue. 

“In order to be successful, cancer clinical trials must have a diverse pool of participants" explains Mark Fleury, policy principal for ACS CAN.  "Yet a lot of patients who would be eligible to enroll and are interested are never given the chance simply because they’re being treated at smaller, community-based oncology clinics that may not have a research infrastructure. If we make it quick and easy for these providers to locate potential trials for their patients—without creating additional steps or systems—we could increase and expand trial enrollment to many more people.”

Another barrier is the amount of manual data entry required to match patients to trials. The project will provide basic trial screening using existing tools within EHR and PDM systems. A set of standardised patient data points are sent to external clinical trial matching services, and these then return the matched results. 

There are multiple phases to the programme - the first is use case development and data exchange protocol, which have been completed. Small scale pilots are currently underway, and the results of these will inform a large-scale study planned for this summer that will measure the tool’s effectiveness, as well as its usability for both providers and patients.

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Jul 29, 2021

A third of UK patients prefer mobile apps to doctor visits

2 min
A new survey by Mobiquity has found that 33% of UK patients would rather have a virtual consultation via a mobile app than visit the doctor in person

 A third of UK patients prefer using mobile healthcare applications to having face-to-face consultations, a new report has found. 

The research, commissioned by Mobiquity and conducted by Censuswide, surveyed 100 doctors  and 1,003 patients in the UK during COVID-19 to understand their experiences with digital healthcare technology and its impact on patient care.

It found that as a result of COVID-19, 33% of patients would rather use a mobile app than visit the doctor. 

Additionally over a third of doctors said that using mobile healthcare applications made it easier to prescribe the right treatment for patients remotely. However respondents cited technical issues and privacy concerns as barriers to using mobile healthcare apps. 

The survey's other findings include: 
 * 56% of UK patients plan to use mobile healthcare applications in the future after using them during COVID-19. 
 * 71% of doctors plan to adopt mobile healthcare applications in the future
 *52% of doctors experienced technical issues, with device compatibility problems being the most frequently reported technical issue
 *28% of patients cited privacy concerns when using mobile healthcare applications during COVID-19

Commenting on the report, Teun Schutte, Managing Consultant at Mobiquity said that the COVID-19 pandemic had been transformational for digital healthcare. "The pandemic has shown the importance of digital health solutions and the need for increased adoption in the future, while at the same time highlighting the benefits around ease of access to care for patients and lower costs for healthcare providers.

“The challenge that exists, however, is how to solve frictions in the delivery of mobile healthcare applications and other types of digital health in the future. Our research highlighted the main barriers to adoption for patients and practitioners, and the areas we need to optimise to ensure digital innovation is scaled successfully to improve patient outcomes. Indeed, technical issues and privacy concerns need to be solved by aligning stakeholder concerns before digital health products are launched" he added. 

“By aligning the digital innovation process and creating a blueprint for scaling the next generation of digital health technologies, as an industry we can scale digital health products or services across disease areas, and across hospitals, markets and regions, ensuring that patients receive personalised, quality care through digital health technologies.”

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