According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2030 the number of new cancer cases will reach 21.6 million per year – a 53 percent increase from 2012. Cancer is a chronic condition, which requires long-term commitment by both patients and healthcare professionals. For affected individuals, the potential benefits of digital health in terms of enhanced self-management and convenience are substantial.
A study in BMC Cancer found that technology can be used to deliver cancer follow-up at home, safely and effectively. Other research suggests that, by facilitating the early detection and management of symptoms and patient deterioration, digital health technologies may play an important role in creating more efficient and sustainable healthcare systems. Unsurprisingly, global sales of wearable self-monitoring health products are skyrocketing. According to a report from BCC Research, they will reach $18.8 billion by 2019. Yet, Philips’ 2016 Future Health Index research recently revealed that 40 per cent of cancer survivors don’t own or use connected health devices, which suggests that many may be missing out on the benefits offered by technology.
Here are some innovative ways in which digital health solutions can help improve cancer management.