Using mHealth with cancer patients can improve compliance, care

The use of mobile health technology, especially on smartphone apps, has shown promise in improving how physicians communicate with cancer patients.

An app called CanSurround, which provides patients with small pieces of information about their cancer tailored to individual needs, can help them feel more in control of their diagnosis. It can also help them navigate multiple physicians in multiple healthcare delivery systems, according to Meg Maley, RN, who spoke at the Patient Centered Oncology Care Meeting hosted by the American Journal of Managed Care.

Patients already check their cell phones frequently, so incorporating medical apps or tools on cell phones can help manage care, she said. Some devices already exist to take an electrocardiogram through a device that attaches to a cell phone, and more are likely to be developed that allow physicians to remotely monitor patients' conditions, she said.

mHealth is already being employed in cancer supportive care. Websites such as MM Mobile provide smartphone-friendly cancer information, and the Focus on Lymphoma app provides information specifically for lymphatic tissue cancers. However, using smartphones as a component of the medical treatment is fairly new, Ms. Maley said.

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