Telemedicine and telesurgery in cancer care: Inaugural conference at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Authors


Abstract

Background

Despite the growing incidence of cancer worldwide, there are an insufficient number of primary care physicians, community oncologists, and surgeons to meet the demand for cancer care, especially in rural and other medically underserved areas. Teleoncology, including diagnostics, treatment, and supportive care, has the potential to enhance access to cancer care and to improve clinician education and training.

Objectives

Major cancer centers such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center must determine how teleoncology will be used as part of strategic planning for the future. The Telemedicine and Telesurgery in Cancer Care (TTCC) conference was convened to determine technologically based strategies for addressing global access to essential cancer care services.

Results

The TTCC conference brought policy makers together with physicians, legal and regulatory experts to define strategies to optimize available resources, including teleoncology, to advance global cancer care.

Conclusions

The TTCC conference discourse provided insight into the present state of access to care, expertise, training, technology and other interventions, including teleoncology, currently available through MD Anderson, as well as a vision of what might be achievable in the future, and proposals for moving forward with a comprehensive strategy. J. Surg. Oncol. 2014; 110:353–359. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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