Monitoring adverse effects (AEs) induced by antitumor therapies remain a clinical challenge for outpatients with cancer. Their delayed management might impair patient quality of life and lead to dose-lowering or discontinuation of treatment. The use of e-health may improve the communication between caregivers and patients, as well as the continuity of care. We assessed if Onco’nect®, a new digital follow-up tool, could be used easily by cancer outpatients undergoing active antitumor treatment in a routine clinical practice setting.
Outpatients diagnosed with any type of cancer and undergoing intravenous or oral anticancer in the department of Medical Oncology of Creteil Teaching Hospital were eligible. No informatics knowledge was required for patients to be included in the study. At different times of each chemotherapy cycle, patients were sent a standardized 12-question survey assessing AEs. A chat was available for patients and caregivers to improve their communication. Grade ≥2 AEs, and deliberate requests of patients raised an alert system. Caregivers were notified of such events by emails and “red alerts” on the web-based interface.
Our study enrolled 51 patients, with distinct types of anticancer treatment (chemotherapy, oral therapy, immunotherapy and clinical trial therapy): 5 (9.8%) patients were over 75-year-old. Four patients could not use a computer or a smartphone but had a relative able to help. We called 21 (41.2%) patients at least once because they reported ≥ grade 2 AEs. We modified symptomatic treatments, or diet and lifestyle in 11 (21.6%) cases. Four patients deliberately raised the alert system, resulting in one hospitalization. The chat was used to: manage daily AEs, answer patients’ questions, send prescriptions, receive medical imaging and blood test results. After a 2-month use, all the patients asked reported that Onco’nect® was easy to use and clinically-efficient.
Onco’nect® is a user-friendly web-based tool to monitor outpatients undergoing anticancer treatment. It can be integrated in a current practice in oncology, even with elderly patients. Onco’nect® might help to anticipate chemotherapy prescriptions and reduce the admission in emergency rooms.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Service d'Oncologie Médicale, Hôpital Henri Mondor, AP-HP, Créteil.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.