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eHealth Initiative Unveils First Health IT Cancer Resources Guide

The eHealth Initiative (eHI) has unveiled its first-ever Health IT Cancer Resources Guide, a comprehensive overview of the digital tools and technologies available today that help patients and their families, caregivers and support networks understand, treat and cope with cancer.

“A diagnosis of cancer strikes fear in every patient, their family members and friends, and coping with this disease is extraordinarily difficult. The Health IT Cancer Resources Guide will help patients become aware of and take advantage of the many outstanding digital resources available today that can help them understand their condition, make informed treatment decisions, anticipate their care needs, and connect with others who have had similar experiences,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. “It is our sincere hope that patients will use these tools to help alleviate the physical, emotional, and psychological effects that are oftentimes associated with cancer.”

The guide lists 76 tools ranging from mobile applications to web sites to social networks that aim to improve cancer care. It was developed by eHI’s National Council on Cancer and Technology, which included representatives from American Cancer Society and American Society of Clinical Oncologists, and is organized in five sections: decision making, education, treatment management, social support and lifestyle management.

eHI developed the guide based on the findings of the Issue Brief on eHealth Tools and Cancer Care, a review of 124 articles, which examined how telemedicine, mobile health, internet-based technologies and social media are being used in cancer care today. The issue brief highlighted the meaningful impact eHealth tools have on care including the removal of geographic barriers, enhanced decision-making capabilities and improved patient-provider communication.

“eHealth Initiative has produced a remarkable compilation of patient resources that are digitally accessible. The breadth of these resources is outstanding, sourced as they are from the full spectrum of the cancer community, including physician driven professional organizations, patient organizations and government agencies,” said Peter Yu, President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “The breadth is matched by the quality of these resources. As our country's demographics evolve to an older population, at greater risk for cancer, but at the same time more digitally sophisticated, this work sets us on a forward path that leads to greater patient engagement in their own health decisions.”

More than half a million Americans die from cancer each year; the leading causes of cancer deaths are lung, prostate and colon in men, and lung, breast, and colon in women. In 2013, a total of 1,660,290 new cancer cases and 580,350 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States1.

“We hope this guide will be a valuable and unique resource for patients, family caregivers, and medical professionals to help patients understand and manage their care most effectively,” said Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society and eHI board member.

To view the full Health IT Cancer Resource Guide click here.

To view the Issue Brief on eHealth Tools and Cancer Care click here.

About the eHealth Initiative: The eHealth Initiative (eHI) is a Washington D.C.-based, independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to drive improvements in the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology. eHI is the only national organization that represents all of the stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Working with its membership, eHI advocates for the use of health IT that is practical, sustainable and addresses stakeholder needs, particularly those of patients. www.ehealthinitiative.org.

1 American Cancer Society. Facts and Figures Report: Declines in Cancer Deaths Reach Milestones. Available at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/facts-and-figures-report-declines-in-cancer-deaths-reach-milestone

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