COVID 19 has been a period that has placed some of the unpredicted demands in the oncology ecosystem. Where the pressure on the healthcare system increased, on the one hand, the need to apply the practice of telemedicine was required.

In the United States, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer screenings fell by 80%-90%, and cancer encounters with clinicians reduced by 40%-50%. Telemedicine was one of the most effective channels to deliver care to patients in such scenarios.

During the period, 640 practitioners at 221 sites of service implemented an aggressive multidisciplinary telemedicine strategy in March by coordinating and training healthcare to various parts. The same grew to 15-20% of new patients and 20%-25% of established patients, from March to September. The aim was to reduce the footfall in the clinic and deliver the safest service to chronic patients.

The survey established 76% were satisfied with the platform. The most common challenges identified included first-time use and technology function, but overall the patients were happy and grateful to the concept. 

The telemedicine facilitated risk assessments, avoidance of hospitalization, family education, psychosocial care, and improved pharmacy support. The rural area limitation was faced with technical complexity, increased burden on patients and staff, and broadband access.

Even after the pandemic to enhance the longitudinal care of patients with cancer with payment coverage policies and easy technological adoption are priority areas.