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Smartphone Apps Help Patients Report Cancer Symptoms, Reduce Pain

by Juan D. Vanpelt

CHICAGO—Smartphone apps can help reduce cancer-related ache and decorate care, consistent with two research provided on the 2019 annual assembly of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Pain-Focused Tool
In one look at, investigators found that the artificial intelligence–pushed smartphone app ePAL may want to help them enhance cancer ache control by means of the use of facts sufferers shared through the app (summary 11514).

“To our know-how, that is the first mobile app to apply patient-reported consequences and synthetic intelligence to significantly decrease pain ratings and ache-associated hospitalizations in sufferers with cancer-related ache,” in step with Mihir Kamdar, MD, the companion director of palliative care and director of the Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, and his colleagues.

EPAL permits sufferers to screen their pain and includes other functions, which include numerous interventions and an academic library. The AI thing of the app analyzes the facts to send sufferers tailored instructional coaching messages each day.

To examine the effect of the app on most cancers pain, fitness care usage and attitudes towards most cancers pain, Dr Kamdar and his team randomly assigned 112 patients with a metastatic strong tumour-associated ache to acquire eight weeks of the same old palliative care without or with ePAL.

They located that ache severity, as measured by means of the Brief Pain Inventory, reduced substantially over the eight-week period (P=0.042) amongst sufferers the use of ePAL. Moreover, those members averaged 4 pain-related health centre admissions at some point of the observe length, as compared with 20 admissions among those now not the use of the app. EPAL users additionally have been 82% less in all likelihood to visit the emergency department for an ache-related motive (P=zero.008).

Another effect of the app became a tremendous discount in terrible attitudes in the direction of cancer treatment, as measured with the aid of the Barriers Questionnaire II (BQ-II), Dr Kamdar’s group stated. However, patients the use of ePAL stated better tension rankings in comparison with controls, a finding that the researchers did now not give an explanation for in their abstract.

The investigators noted that “destiny directions consist of analyzing the efficacy of ePAL in settings with constrained gets admission to to palliative care.”

Symptom Monitoring App

In any other observe provided at the ASCO meeting, John Marshall, MD, the chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, in Washington, D.C., and his colleagues tested the usability of care prompted, an application that permits patients to record, and clinicians to view, most cancers signs among visits (abstract e23119).

“Clinicians, payors and patients are spotting the cost of enhanced symptom monitoring for ambulatory sufferers between chemotherapy encounters,” the investigators mentioned.

CarePrompter includes both an affected person-going through telephone app and a clinician-going through the dashboard for monitoring sufferers. The clinician component changed into available to providers in each stand-by myself and electronic health record (EHR)-included variations at some point of the look at.

Dr Marshall’s team enrolled 250 patients with breast, lung or gastrointestinal most cancers receiving lively chemotherapy and their clinicians to apply CarePrompter. Patients were loose to document their signs and symptoms at any time however had been advocated to achieve this as a minimum as soon as every weekday. Clinicians additionally acquired e-mail signals primarily based on a symptom triage protocol included within the software program.

All the members correctly accessed and used the era, with clinicians viewing the symptom management dashboard as a minimum once consistent with weekday, on average. Additionally, seventy-five % of clinicians said CarePrompter both had no impact on their workflow or, in some instances, decreased it. A comparable quantity of clinicians discovered the frequency of indicators “perfect.” The EHR-included tool was most convenient to use, clinicians said.

Among patients, roughly forty% used CarePrompter every day, and eighty% stated they would endorse it to others.

The authors concluded that the study demonstrates the “feasibility and usefulness” of a digital patient-mentioned outcomes-amassing machine, “specifically whilst integrated with the EHR.” The outcomes show that “technical barriers to supplying strong real-time and historic symptom statistics are much less bold than they seem.”

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