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New Program to Use Telehealth Platform for Cancer Care Management

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   December 08, 2022

The Cancer Support Community is partnering with Equiva Health on a program to equip rural residents living with cancer with a cellular-enabled tablet that gives them access to resources and care providers.

The Cancer Support Community is launching a telehealth program aimed at improving care management for cancer patients living in underserved parts of the country.

CSC, the largest professionally led non-profit cancer support network, is partnering with New York-based CRM company Equiva Health on the program, with a pilot project scheduled to launch this month in Minnesota. Through Gilda's Club Twin Cities, a CSC network partner, participating residents will get a cellular-enabled tablet allowing them to access resources and connect with caregivers.

“From my own experience growing up in rural Virginia, I know firsthand the challenges that you’re met with when living in a remote rural community,” CSC CEO Debbie Weir said in a press release. “We must overcome rural access barriers by advancing telehealth solutions that can seamlessly connect people to resources, to support, to their communities, and to the oncology community at large.” 

The project is the latest in a series of digital and connected health programs aimed at improving care management for those living with cancer beyond the hospital, clinic, and doctor's office. Many use remote patient monitoring tools or telehealth platforms to provide on-demand resources and links to providers, with the idea that remote monitoring can allow providers to identify treatments that don’t work and modify care plans on the fly, improving short- and long-term outcomes.

These services are especially important for patients in rural and other underserved areas who have difficulties accessing care. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that people living with cancer in rural areas have a higher mortality rate than those living in urban regions.

The program will also take into account a patient's ability to access connectivity for the devices. Those who qualify will be invited to apply for the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through an ISP provider.

Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Rural residents living with cancer have a higher mortality rate than those living in urban areas, according to research, often because they can't easily access healthcare.

The Cancer Support Community is partnering with Equiva Health on a program, to be piloted in Minnesota, that gives selected residents a tablet and telehealth platform to access resources and connect with providers.

The project is one of many using digital health and telehealth to improve care manaagement for people living with cancer, especially those in underserved locations or communities.


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