Since 2016, the medical community has seen strong data showing that remote patient monitoring (RPM), which gives people living with cancer simple ways to report treatment side effects, has a significant impact on patients’ outcomes and survival rates.
“When the patients have an easy way to raise a flag and let their health care team know that something is going on, it gives the health care team the ability to manage side effects earlier which can allow patients more time on treatment,” says Bellinda King-Kallimanis, PhD, Director of Patient-Focused Research at LUNGevity. “There are many different RPM tools available to hospitals and clinics. A few options include automated phone surveys, secure text messaging, and apps that can be downloaded to patients’ smartphones.”
But not all communities have seen an increase in remote patient monitoring for people living with cancer. The feasibility of adding RPM tools to healthcare centers may be difficult for a variety of reasons including geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural factors.
To better understand the challenges and perceptions of instituting RPM programs, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) partnered with LUNGevity to survey patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers in a range of geographic settings.
Some key results of this study relate to the use of RPMs in rural health care settings. These results were titled “Differences in Perceptions and Use of Remote Patient Monitoring Technology in Rural Cancer Programs,” and were presented at a poster session at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
“Using the data collected, we found that while many academic and community cancer programs in urban and suburban communities are in varying stages of implementing RPM programs, rural cancer programs face unique challenges, such as concerns about privacy, health care costs, and lack of awareness of RPM programs,” said Dr. King-Kallimanis, a co-author of the study. “We are looking forward to digging into this data more and unearthing key results that will help lay the groundwork for programs that can improve access to RPM for all lung cancer patients — particularly those in rural settings.”