Electronic App to Monitor Symptoms Following HSCT

The lives of patients who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) change in several ways. A study presented during the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting described the use of an electronic app for patients to monitor their symptoms.

“WeCancer App is an electronic patient-reported outcome tool that provides on-demand multidisciplinary digital support by nurses, psychologists, and nutritionists. It also encompasses real-time remote patient monitoring, a notification center to the patient and medical staff, symptom monitoring, medication control, and a content hub with reliable medical information,” the researchers described.

Six patients used the app and were followed for up to 16 weeks following hospital discharge. The researchers assessed the number of symptoms reported, specific symptoms, toxicity after transplantation, application adherence, number of accesses, chat interactions, and total hours of chat time. Patients electronically reported their symptoms and could chat with a dedicated nurse if desired.

Electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) completion rates were >90% at baseline and ≥80% at all on-treatment assessments and adherence, the study authors reported. A total of 329 reports were made, including for symptoms (n=218), wellness (n=66), gratitude (n=30), and exercise (n=15). A total of 64 chat interactions were identified, with 19.25 total hours logged and an average of 18.05 minutes per patient. Chat interactions and questions centered mostly on symptoms, followed by treatment questions, exams, emotional aspect, nutritional aspect, and medical devices.

“We show the real-life benefits of incorporating ePRO into a post-HSCT strategy adjunct to the treatment center. Symptoms that would only be brought to the physician in the next appointment were communicated in real-time to the transplant team, permitting early intervention and likely to reduce transplant-related deterioration and later interventions. The results suggest that further research should be done to prove the effectiveness of the app,” the study authors concluded.