The Future of Telemedicine in Oncology

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive surge in the use of telemedicine services in oncology. However, although telemedicine usage is not as high as it was early in the pandemic, it is not as low as it was before the pandemic, either, indicating that patients have a desire to receive care when, where, and how they want. Most oncology providers agree that telemedicine is beneficial and here to stay, but barriers hinder equitable delivery, such as racial/ethnic affiliations, older age, residing in a rural area, and lower socioeconomic status. The momentum created by the pandemic can serve to show the benefits of telemedicine and solidify its place in oncology care. However, addressing these disparities—and increasing widespread access to broadband and educating both patients and providers on how to use these technologies—is paramount.

Disclosures: Dr. Langer has disclosed being employed by UnitedHealthcare. Dr. Tevaarwerk has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Zon has disclosed having equity interest/stock options in AC3 HC Technology Com. RCM, Cytosorbents Corporation, Moderna, Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. Select Sector Health Care, and TG Therapeutics Equity; receiving honoraria from L‐NUTRA, Inc. and sanofi-aventis; and receiving consulting fees from and serving as a scientific advisor for New Century Health. Dr. Osterman has disclosed receiving consulting fees from and serving as a scientific advisor for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Biodesix, COTA Healthcare, eHealth, Flagship Biosciences, Inc., GenomOncology LLC, MDoutlook, and Outcomes Insights, Inc; receiving grant/research support from GE Healthcare and Microsoft; and having equity interest/stock options in Infostratix, LLC.

Correspondence: Travis Osterman, DO, MS, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, 2220 Pierce Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232. Email: travis.osterman@vumc.org
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