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The Future of Telemedicine in Oncology

Presented by: Lucy R. Langer, Amye J. Tevaarwerk, and Robin Zon

Moderated by: Travis Osterman

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.