Smart Moves? E-patient Systems Rise Amid Skepticism

Andrew D. Smith
Published: Thursday, Jun 16, 2011

Smart PhoneDuring the past 20 years, disease management (DM) systems have mushroomed in medicine, expanding from call centers staffed by nurses to electronic devices that collect streams of data to pump into doctors’ offices. Heart patients are strapping on wristband monitors, and diabetics are checking their glucose meters; there’s even an “intelligence toilet” system that tracks several health indicators.

Now, as many cancers evolve into chronic diseases, momentum is building for DM systems in oncology that, among other things, remind patients to get diagnostic tests, help them manage adverse events, and talk them through their bouts with depression. One trade group estimates that nearly a fifth of cancer patients already use some form of DM and, collectively, spend 0 million a year on it.

"As much as the studies show questionable benefits, the alternative of having people hung out to dry is not acceptable to most health plans and employers. That’s why you have this growth."

—Al Lewis

Al Lewis
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Medical Crossfire®: How Can We Optimize Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancers with Immunotherapeutic Strategies?Oct 31, 20191.5
The Patient and Provider Connection™: Effective Communication to Optimize the Diagnosis and Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Idiopathic ConstipationOct 31, 20191.0
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