UVA launches telemedicine program to address cancer patients' stress, concerns

University of Virginia Health System is offering a new telemedicine-based program to cancer survivors who live in rural areas to help cope with the stress of their diagnosis post treatment, according to a Jan. 8 WVIR report.

As part of the new program, a nurse uses video technology to call survivors of neck and head cancer to answer any questions they have and listen to their concerns. Questions patients are asked cover various topics, including financial difficulties and the patient's ability to sleep at night. Once the questionnaire is completed, the nurse can answer any questions the patient has as well as connect the individual with resources.

"If it is needing a speech-language pathologist out in the community I can make referrals … If it is a community where they don’t have the resources, you know, our patients are going to be coming back for follow up," said Allen Cupp, cancer center care coordinator at UVA.

Around 20 UVA patients have gone through the program; the health system is currently analyzing its results to try and scale the service to include other cancer survivors, according to the report.

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