Connected Health Can Help Achieve Critical Goals Essential to Progress Against Cancer, Says Report to the White House from the President’s Cancer Panel

November 17, 2016

Connected health technologies have the potential to maximize the value of our nation’s investments in cancer by supporting empowered individuals and patients, according to a report released November 15 by the President’s Cancer Panel. The Panel’s report, Improving Cancer-Related Outcomes with Connected Health finds that while The report concludes that while the challenges to connected health are daunting, they can be overcome. 

“Connected health is truly about people more than technologies," said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, chair of the President's Cancer Panel. "The time is now to ensure that connected health applications are developed and implemented to meet the needs of patients, families, and care teams and to reduce the burden of cancer in the United States."

The Panel defines connected health as “the use of technology to facilitate the efficient and effective collection, flow, and use of health information.” According to the report, while current technologies can make tremendous contributions toward improved outcomes for cancer patients and their families and support the oncology workforce, there are significant barriers when it comes to implementing these technologies in the real world. For example, many patients cannot access their own health information or get errors in that information corrected; providers experience electronic health record fatigue and frustration due to lack of interoperability, among other challenges; and researchers do not have a central location to compile, analyze, or even access critical data

The Panel’s report concludes that if technologies are developed and implemented thoughtfully, and optimized based on users’ experiences as well as evidence, connected health has significant potential to achieve three critical goals – improve the experience of care for cancer patients and their caregivers; improve the experience of the oncology workforce in providing care; and reduce the burden of cancer at the population level. To view the report, please visit: http://go.usa.gov/xkAjC