Wednesday, February 20, 2013

eHI Unveils HIT Cancer Guide

On February 12th, the eHealth Initiative (eHI) unveiled the “Health IT Cancer Resources Guide”, a comprehensive overview of the digital tools and technologies available to help patients and their families, caregivers, and networks understand, treat, and cope with cancer.

More than half a million Americans die from cancer each year. The leading causes of cancer deaths are lung, prostate, and colon in men, and lung, breast, and colon in women. In 2013, a total of 1,660,290 new cancer cases and 580,350 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the U.S. according to the American Cancer Society.

The “Health IT Cancer Resources Guide” will help patients become aware of and take advantage of the many outstanding digital resources available today that can help them understand their condition, make informed treatment decisions, anticipate their care needs, and connect with others who have had similar experiences,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. “It is our sincere hope that patients will use these tools to help alleviate the physical, emotional, and psychological effects that are oftentimes associated with cancer.”

The guide lists 76 tools ranging from mobile applications to web sites to social networks aiming to improve cancer care. It was developed by eHI’s National Council on Cancer and Technology which includes representatives from the American Cancer Society, and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, and is organized in five sections. These sections include decision making, education, treatment management, social support, and lifestyle management.

eHI developed the guide based on the findings of the “Issue Brief on eHealth Tools and Cancer Care,” a review of 124 articles that examined how telemedicine, mobile health, internet-based technologies, and social media are used in cancer care today.

The issue brief highlighted the meaningful impact that eHealth tools have on care including the removal of geographic barriers, enhanced decision-making capabilities, and improved patient-provider communication.

Peter Yu, President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology commented, “The breadth of these resources is outstanding, sourced as they are from the full spectrum of the cancer community, including physician driven professional organizations, patient organizations, and government agencies.”