The complex emergence of oncology applications

March 28, 2017
Devin Soelberg Strategic Partnerships

There’s no denying that technology is rapidly and dramatically changing the way we treat cancer. Doctors and medical researchers are constantly searching for innovative practices, methodologies, drugs, and treatments to help find a cure for a condition that impacts millions of families every year.

The opportunity to be part of advancing and improving the field of Oncology is something that genuinely excites us. From diagnosis, to treatment, to recovery, to long-term survivorship, we believe the next generation of oncology applications has the potential to fundamentally change (and positively impact) the way a patient experiences the entire care process.

Yet, despite being undoubtedly beneficial for millions of people, we don’t see the kind of widespread adoption of oncology apps that one might expect. Why is this, and how do we fix it?

What’s holding oncology back

Disconnect Between Clinical Experts and Developers

Developing a cancer-targeted digital solution that allows clinicians to perform and deliver better care poses a unique challenge—the people who have the knowledge to develop these apps are physicians and researchers who have devoted their lives to cancer care. The people who have the technical knowledge to actually construct healthcare applications tend to have limited knowledge of oncology workflows and best practices. These two groups don’t usually overlap, and the challenge in developing oncology apps is figuring out how to effectively pool knowledge from these two groups to create something meaningful. Whiledifficult, more and more groups are realizing the value of figuring it out, and our friends at Carevive are a great example of how a valuable solution can be developed when the appropriate balance is struck.

Technology Compatibility with Existing Systems

By and large, EHRs don’t have sophisticated workflows established to help them utilize best-case practices for patient care. This has opened up an enormous opportunity for third-party applications to design targeted oncology solutions that augment the functionality of existing systems and dramatically improve outcomes. Unfortunately, the solutions being built today using the best research by oncology’s brightest minds are struggling to operate at their fullest potential due to the limitations of health systems. Simply put,these applications can be difficult to implement with the legacy technology being used by health system’s EHRs. With different language standards and technological requirements existing from health system to health system, integrating new health solutions proves more complicated, costly, and resource-intensive than application developers expect. The time spent building out individualized connections delays applications being used by care providers and patients across the nation.

Complex Integrations

Creating applications with legacy-EHR-friendly technology can seem daunting, but the process of integrating that application within a health system’s workflow can prove equally challenging to those with limited experience in integration. With patient data being stored inconsistently across systems, trying to help a health system IT analyst establish consistent access to the necessary and appropriate patient data is difficult to make sense of and communicate. Successful integration requires a thorough understanding of the technical nuance that exists among EHRs, an understanding only obtained from decades actually and implementing digital health applications. Application developers usually don’t know the intricacies of the technology which exists in the healthcare industry, making a complex health tech project all the more daunting.

Our Mission

When it comes to oncology apps, our message to you is that the path to integration is not as challenging as it may seem—it will require engaged, intelligent discussions by motivated parties to create a process that not only fits into existing workflows, but is efficient and sustainable for clinicians and patients over the long haul.

Luckily, the motivation to improve this space is real. The understanding that care is currently limited and can be drastically improved is an increasingly-accepted notion, and innovatorshave already begun developing oncology solutions which will be breaking new ground in terms of the quality of care physicians and healthcare professionals can provide.We are extremely passionate about this development and want to work with the leading technologists to ensure as many patients as possible experience improved care while they fight through treatment and continue to manage their health as survivors.

How We Can Help You

We’re already live at a number of cancer centers and are continually expanding. We offer the most efficient way for cancer centers to adopt your solution, as well as a team that will work with you to ensure you have everything you need to move forward. Our expertise is derived from decades of dedicated integration work with health centers and leading EHR vendors.

Our mission is to help you execute your data integration needs so that patients can receive the best care possible. If you’re developing an oncology application and are starting to think about integration, we encourage you to reach out to us. We’ll work with you to develop a customized strategy that will quickly get your solution into the hands of healthcare providers across the nation.

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