Dr Susan Escudier Discusses Uptake of Digital Health Solutions at Texas Oncology

SAP Partners | <b>US Oncology Network</b>

The use of digital health solutions has been a tremendous benefit during the pandemic that should continue, said Susan Escudier, MD, FACP, vice president, value-based care and quality programs, Texas Oncology.

The use of digital health solutions has been a tremendous benefit during the pandemic that should continue, said Susan Escudier, MD, FACP, vice president, value-based care and quality programs, Texas Oncology.

Transcript

What impact does the increased adoption of digital health solutions have on providers?

Well, I think it's a net positive because I think the uptake of telehealth has been a tremendous benefit during COVID-19 and hopefully will continue going on because I find that patients are very comfortable in that setting. Sometimes patients who have a real hardship getting to the office, we can still effectively practice medicine in that way—now, not 100% of the time, we need to see them in person.

I think that their ability to report symptoms to us remotely is a plus. There have been some studies that suggest improved long-term patient outcomes when patients can electronically report symptoms to us. I think there's a big interest going forward in things like home monitoring, electronic monitoring. For example, I have a lot of patients who are on home anticoagulation monitors, which is like a glucose monitor, and it enables us to take much better care of them.

What disparities do you see regarding which patients enroll in and use digital health solutions?

Well, we found, interestingly, that the uptake was fairly similar across all age groups, which is quite satisfying, quite nice to see. The difference was, interestingly, the older folks were more prone to—people, say, in their 80s, 70s—they were much more likely to go on and read about their disease and read about the drugs. And the younger patients were more interested in the electronic symptom reporting, the patient-reported outcomes. That was kind of interesting.

We did have less uptake among our Spanish-speaking patients but [it] still was fairly decent. But that really pointed out to us that, going forward, we need to have multiple languages available for people to access this information.