Marisa Deline, Oncology Roundtable
A recent article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians describes the role of electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO) questionnaires in oncology.
PRO basics and the advent of ePRO
Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) questionnaires allow patients to formally assess the status of their health and share this information with clinicians. They typically collect information in a variety of categories, including symptoms, physical functioning, and mental health.
Electronic patient-reported outcomes surveys: The way of the future?
Deirdre Fuller, Oncology Roundtable
A new, free iPhone app developed by the University of Michigan Health System allows users to perform skin cancer screening at home. This app is just the latest in a series of technological innovations designed to engage the public in their health care.
As more than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, regular skin checks will aid in the discovery of skin cancers, particularly melanoma, at their earliest and most treatable stages. If used to its full potential by doctors and patients, UMSkinCheck has great capacity to improve preventive skin cancer screening and care.
New app takes skin cancer screening mobile
Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Newest Medical Student: IBM Watson
While there is nothing elementary about cancer care, IBM’s famous Watson will be in training as an oncologist at NYC’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The IBM-Sloan-Kettering team hopes that Watson technology, capable of processing large datasets in response to natural language questions, will ideally help clinicians apply evidence-based principles to diagnostics and treatment.
Together, IBM and Sloan-Kettering will “feed” Watson information from medical textbooks, the most recent publications in cancer research, the hospital’s clinical data, and with patients’ permission, individual medical records. As Watson processes more information, the team will test the super computer on increasingly challenging cancer cases. Watson is expected to reduce the growing scientific literature to relevant, actionable information for the treatment of individual patients.
Dr. Larry Norton, the deputy chief for breast cancer programs at Sloan-Kettering, quipped to the Boston Globe, “The capabilities are enormous… and unlike my medical students, Watson doesn't forget anything.” Most impressive to Dr. Norton is Watson’s ability to process natural language in plain text form (physician notes); with this, Watson will contextualize the data to provide better recommendations to physicians.
Memorial Sloan Kettering's newest medical student: IBM Watson