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Telehealth in older adults with cancer in the United States: The emerging use of wearable sensors.

J Geriatr Oncol; 8(6): 437-442, 2017 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28888556
As the aging and cancer populations in the world continue to increase, the need for complements to traditional geriatric assessments and the logical incorporation of fast and reliable telehealth tools have become interlinked. In the United States, studies examining the use of telehealth for chronic disease management have shown promising results in small groups. The implementation of health technology on a broader scale requires older adults to both accept and adapt such innovation into routine medical care. Though the commercial and recreational use of new technology has increased in older individuals, the transition into creating a smart and connected home that can interface with both patients and healthcare professionals is in its early phases. Current limitations include an inherent digital divide, as well as concerns regarding privacy, data volume, rapid change, cost and reimbursement. The emergence of low-cost, high-fidelity wearable sensors with a spectrum of clinical utility may be the key to increased use and adaptation by older adults. An opportunity to utilize wearable sensors for objective and real-time assessment of older patients with cancer for baseline functional status and treatment toxicity may be on the horizon.