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Digital Health on Patientcare

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Now I’m going to speak about something not so clinical but also very important for quality of life. There are many applications that are out there to support sleep, resting, asleep, eating and also reduce stress. And some of them have tested in cancer. Why this is very important? We know that there is a link between lack of sleep and pain, fatigue, and psychological distress. All those are relating a very complex way but improving any of them can have a huge impact in quality of life. And thus, what is guiding many of the efforts that I’m going to show you in few seconds.
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For example, in the company, Tired of Cancer from the Netherlands, they are developing a mobile application that will help patients to reduce fatigue in patients survival, because fatigue sometimes is very common symptom even after the cancer. It has been managed by promoting physical activity relaxing techniques, etc. Physical activity is also so important.
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The research in the quite well-known medical center MD Anderson, they are using those kind of devices like the Apple watch, to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyle in people with breast cancer Actually, the way it works is also half a sensor in the back that can track your heart rate and you can use it to get information about the physical activity and also you can use the screen of this ball to give motivational message, and also use the vibration. Quite recently, some researchers did a study on how people with breast cancer perceive those fitness tracker that now are very common. You can find pretty much in any shop.
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And they found out that many of them were actually highly rated by the patients. There were some challenging but at the end of the day, the patient, you can see in there, one quote fund that those device can help to motivate a little bit instruct to do more physical activity.
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And if you do more physical activity and have cancer that may be a way to reduce fatigue and also increase overall well-being In a previous study, they also look into the use of sensor to being able to calculate the energy expenditure in patient with leukemia and that was used to adjust the nutritional treatment because many people with cancer may suffer of several nutritional deficiencies and you can track a little bit the nutrition intake and combined with the sensor. You can have an idea of the different nutritional needs of the patients.
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Mobile application and also be used to collect information about the sleep problem which are very common in many different type of cancer and that information can be sent to the nurses or the healthcare professional so that they can create plan to reduce any potential asleep problem the patient may have. And that have a lot of impact in fatigue and overall quality of life. Also mobile applications have been using cancer to track and to do early screening of cancer related depression. And that again can help the psyche oncologists, in this case, to better identify which patients are in need of extra help.
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Also, in the Duke Institute for Health innovation, they develop one mobile application so that they can coach and give advice to patients with cancer distress. Like, for example, teaching ways to get relax better manage a stressful situation etc. Similarly, in Toronto, the sick kids, Hospital develop one mobile application to ]help managing pain in kids with cancer and also this is a way to get more information, about how much pain those kids are having so that they can adjust the different treatment. And since like pain are very hard to measure because it’s very subjective. By using those techniques, we can get more inside. Here you have one video where you can see actually how it works.
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Now, to finalize some key points. There are hundreds of mobile application for cancer. However, we need to think always what is needed for this particular patient, because it makes no sense to give 10 mobile application for a patient we need to identify which mobile application or wearable technology can support the personal need for self-management of that patient. If you are checking mobile application from the app store, you have to be very careful. There is no quality criteria on many of those application. So you need to know who made the app. That’s included in the contact information. Are those mobile application endorsed by a government or somebody that the patient or the healthcare professional can trust?
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Also, you have to think of some of those mobile application may be file even seven years old. With outdated information that may be not applicable today because we have found more information about cancer. so you had to check whether it provides the dates where the information was created; and also, if they have any link to the sources of information. Overall, you have to be extremely careful with any mobile application that is promising something, very hard to reach, like cure, diagnose. Because it may happen, that, actually they are not working and they mislead you and eventually kill somebody. Very important nowadays, many of those mobile application are collecting a lot of data.
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You should check which data are you giving to those mobile application and what they are doing with that mobile application. You should always be very carefully if a mobile application is collecting more data that they are a medium. Like, for example, location. if there is no functionality that make sense for that. So it’s… at the end, it’s up to you. How much data you are giving away and always, don’t use any mobile application and change the way you handle your health without consulting with your healthcare professional. And if you are a healthcare professional, always have some mobile applications on hand that you can recommend. If a patient is asking you.
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Otherwise, the patient’s alone out there and there are many mobile application that can do damage. Thank you. That was everything in this session, and if you want to check the slide, you can go to my SlideShare account.

We have talked about stress, now let’s found out more about digital health on supporting patient care. In this video, Dr. Luis will introduce more applications focusing on improving the quality of life. Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies, outlining negative and positive features of life. In healthcare, QOL includes all emotional, social, and physical aspects of the individual’s life. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an assessment of how the individual’s well-being may be affected over time by a disease, disability, or disorder.

Dr. Luis will introduce more examples. There were some challenges for digital health. Still, there are users who support these researches that they do help them to improve physical activity. How do you see these applications to support patient care?

Educator:

Dr. Luis Fernadez Luque

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Application of Digital Health Interventions

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