JUN 04, 2021 5:14 PM PDT

Cancer patients with COVID-19 fare better with remote health monitoring

A new study presented last week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting after its publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports success with a remote patient monitoring program for cancer patients with COVID-19.

Conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center from March18-July 31 of 2020, the study found that that cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who received care at home via remote patient monitoring were significantly less likely to require hospitalization for their illness, compared to cancer patients with COVID-19 who did not participate in the program.

"For our study, we evaluated 224 Mayo Clinic patients with cancer who were found to have COVID-19 through standardized screening prior to receiving cancer treatment, or due to symptoms or close exposure," says senior author of the study Tufia Haddad, M.D., who is an oncologist at Mayo Clinic.  

Remote care included monitoring oxygen levels and vital signs as well other COVID-19 symptoms. Care was provided to over 8,000 patients in 41 states via in-home technology and the researchers’ analysis showed that when patients in the at-home monitoring program were hospitalized, they experienced fewer hospitalizations of more than a week, ICU admissions and deaths.

"After balancing the two groups of patients who were or were not managed by the remote monitoring program for factors known to impact COVID-19 outcomes, such as old age, male gender, and obesity, there was a 78% reduction in the risk of hospitalization (a 2.8% risk for patients on the remote monitoring program, compared to 13% for patients not on the program) attributed to the remote monitoring program," notes Dr. Haddad. "It is possible that our results were due to early detection of adverse symptoms and vital sign trends that enabled earlier care interventions to alter the trajectory of the disease."

Sources: Journal of Clinical Oncology, Eureka Alert

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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