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Patients Are Still ‘Nervous’ About Telehealth Technology

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An expert spoke with CURE® about telehealth when it comes to ostomies within patients with bladder cancer, and overall within patients and survivors.

Telehealth within cancer care has upsides for patients and survivors, such as flexible scheduling and minimal transportation. The cancer community can also communicate with their medical professionals easily due to the modernization of technology.

Telehealth can also be seen as more cost efficient to patients with cancer, due to transportation and travel bills. Appointments online with providers result in more affordable options within this population.

Read More: Telehealth Offers ‘Significantly Lower’ Costs for Rural Patients with Urologic Cancer

Dr. Robert Krause, professor of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, spoke with CURE® to discuss the benefits of telehealth, alongside the fears that the cancer community have about its popularity.

Krause also discussed a recent study that had been conducted which focused on the improvement within quality of life for patients or survivors with bladder cancer. The study, which was conducted during pre-COVID, was able to use telehealth as an impactful tool throughout this time, as face-to-face interactions were rarely possible, especially within the patient population.

Transcript:

One would hope that people are less scared of it, as they have more experience. There are a lot of people who still are nervous about the technology. And obviously, it's typically more older people, not necessarily always, of course, and we hope over time that will lessen.

We found that for this particular study, we were able to improve fairly rapidly. And people were really, really excited about the technology. Technology may have added to people being more frank with each other, or more open. If you're sitting in a room and talking about very sensitive things that may be harder than when you're a little bit distant, and together. And so routinely, people talked about really sensitive things in the group, and really learned a lot from each other. And that was part of the goal. So the technology, I think, and also one of the things that I think was really helpful was there was from the University of Arizona and assigned engineer to help people monitor the technology, they tested ahead of time to make sure they got it, that they were on if there's any problems, they help them and I think it ease the burden for a lot of people, at least in the beginning to make sure they could actually do it, and that the technology was not scary.

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