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COVID-19’s Impact on the Evolving Role of Telehealth in Oncology Care

September 22, 2022

There has been significant growth in telemedicine throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic’s peak, telehealth statistics show that 69 percent of all doctor-patient visits were conducted by telehealth. Because those visits proved successful, personalized care quickly shifted from in-person to telehealth. As a result, this shift is impacting the provision of oncology care. However, there’s still much work to be done to provide the innovative remote services that cancer patients deserve.

What Are Telehealth Services?

Telehealth services are health services provided remotely by doctors using electronic means. Sometimes, they involve real-time two-way communications like Zoom or Teams. In other cases, the services are provided via emails, texts, phone calls, or patient portals. Patients are sometimes fitted with monitoring equipment that allows doctors to check vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure. Such services are used for consultation, emergencies, and ongoing treatment.

How Has Covid-19 Impacted the Role of Telehealth in Oncology Care?

When in-person oncology healthcare became impractical during the Covid crisis, many practitioners began to provide those services via telehealth. This presented an unprecedented opportunity to expand services to patients who have difficulty attending in-person visits. Not only has telehealth provided a vital service during the pandemic, but it also shows great promise in delivering premium oncology patient services well into the future.

What Are the Benefits of Telehealth Patient Services in Oncology?

Telehealth allows oncology patients to interact with their doctor from the comfort of the patient’s home. This is an excellent benefit for immobile patients. Stress is reduced because the patient doesn’t have to travel to the doctor’s office or emergency center or spend time in a hospital. Another benefit is that remote oncology services are typically less expensive than in-person visits, thereby reducing the patient’s healthcare costs.

What Is the Future of Telehealth Growth in Oncology Care?

Most experts believe that the growth of telemedicine will continue to accelerate, including oncology services. This is because such services provide unparalleled convenience to families who otherwise would have to travel or miss work to attend an in-person appointment. Telehealth growth will also catalyze the development of new technology to make remote patient monitoring more straightforward and accurate.

What Are the Benefits of Telehealth Personalized Care After the Covid-19 Pandemic?

During the Covid pandemic, some medical offices were forced to close. Others have restricted their practice to a limited number of patients or hours. It has been estimated that over 40 percent of patients delayed needed medical treatment during the pandemic’s peak. This makes it easy to see that the primary benefit of telehealth during the pandemic has been providing those patients with a new opportunity to receive the healthcare they need. Another advantage of telehealth during COVID-19 is that patients can maintain a social distance and communicate with their healthcare provider without the need to wear a mask.

Do Telehealth Statistics Show That People with Cancer Are at Higher Risk for Severe Covid-19?

Yes, statistics confirm that cancer patients are more susceptible to COVID-19 and are more likely to die from severe cases of Covid. Several theories have been put forth to explain the increased susceptibility, including molecular links between Covid and cancer, inflammation produced by a combination of the two diseases, and reduced immune response. That’s why telehealth for cancer patients is so essential. Sometimes, it’s the only way a cancer patient can obtain the information and treatment they need to survive the virus.

Take the Next Step in Providing Outstanding Telehealth Services

We understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on our patients. At Nashville Oncology, our specialists provide personalized telehealth services that are more effective and better suited for the needs of our patients and their families. Contact us to learn more about our patient-centric approach to ensure every person we treat receives the care they need.