The President’s Cancer Panel report specifically recommends the expansion of Internet services so that the full benefits of connected health can be achieved. Cancer—with its complex biology, multispecialty care teams, transitions between treatment phases, experience of symptoms related to treatment, and profound impact on the lives of patients and families—is an area of healthcare likely to benefit from improved coordination, communication, information access, and health behavior change facilitated by connected health solutions.
The FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force contributed critical information on connectivity and telecommunications to the Panel report, which notes that although technologies have been widely adopted in healthcare settings and among the general population, health information often remains trapped in silos, and individuals and healthcare providers often lack the tools they need to access and optimally use these data. Actions are needed to eliminate barriers to connected health and to capitalize on the potential of existing and emerging technologies.
The Panel identifies several critical objectives to the move the needle in the area of cancer and technology and enhance access:
- Enable interoperability among institutions and individuals that support care delivery across the cancer continuum, from prevention through treatment, survivorship, and end-of-life care.
- Enable individuals to manage their health information and participate in their care across the cancer continuum.
- Ensure that federal programs and health IT tools support the oncology workforce as it delivers care.
- Facilitate health information access and sharing by ensuring adequate Internet access.
- Facilitate data sharing and integration to improve care, enhance surveillance, and advance research.