Unlocking the Potential of Technology in Community Oncology


In this episode of Targeted Talks, Nini Wu, MD, MBA, shares her insights on the ever-changing world of technology in community oncology.

In this episode of Targeted Talks, Nini Wu, MD, MBA, chief medical and development officer at Cardinal Health, shares her insights on the ever-changing world of technology in the community oncology setting.

In order to successfully adopt technology, Wu explains one must rely on prioritizing the human experience, ensuring both patients and clinicians benefit from these advancements. Some of the biggest roadblocks that are often faced when starting to use new technologies in the community oncology setting include workflow disruptions, cost considerations, and security and privacy concerns.

However, Wu believes there are solutions on the horizon. Integrating a variety of applications used in daily practice can help streamline workflow. Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to make an impact, especially in the context of documentation tasks like scribing and generating data insights that can improve patient care. Additionally, remote patient monitoring offers another promising technology for patients and clinicians.

Another application showing immense potential is robotic process automation which can tackle repetitive tasks, further reducing clinician burden.

Wu notes that while it is possible to reach all patients effectively with such applications, we must first bridge the “digital divide.” For individuals who are more comfortable with technology, user-friendly apps and online portals can be used to assist with communication and data collection. For patients who may be on the less comfortable side of technology, traditional methods like phone calls and paper forms should still be made available. The key is to meet patients where they are and ensure they have the tools and support they need.

Looking ahead, Wu envisions a future where community oncology practices operate more like "practices without walls," meaning there will be an increased use of virtual consultations and home-based care delivery models that allow patients to receive more care in their homes.

“I can only say that it is a very exciting world. I am thrilled that this is an area we want to focus on, which is basically digital health as we think about the future, and I love the fact that we can do this in community oncology,” explains Wu.

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