With an increasing demand for cancer care services in a growing population, telemedicine and technology are becoming a vital component of delivering high-quality, value-based cancer care. Innovative e-health platforms and virtual navigation services can improve patient care by mitigating barriers to care for patients who are appropriate for cancer immunotherapy treatment.
Meet the members of the IO Telemedicine Working Group.
Rashid L. Bashshur, PhD, is executive director of eHealth at the University of Michigan Health System and emeritus professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Since the early 1970s, he has been a catalyst for the development and evaluation of telemedicine systems in the U.S. He has published extensively on telemedicine, maintains an active speaking schedule, and works closely with policymakers at institutional, state, national, and international levels. In 1994, he cofounded the Telemedicine Journal with Mark Goldberg, and served as senior editor of three reports on telemedicine that were submitted to the U.S. Congress (1994, 1995, and 2001).
Dr. Bashshur is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the NASA Group Achievement Award; special appreciation from Eastman Kodak; the University of Arizona Founders Award; recognition for service from the American Telemedicine Association; Partners HealthCare Leadership Award; and the Individual Leadership Award for contributions to the development of telemedicine worldwide from the American Telemedicine Association.
Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP, is medical director, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network; Medical Director, Research Integration at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA); and associate professor of Medicine, University of Washington. Dr. Crews has more than 18 years of experience in oncology in academic, private practice, and hospital-based settings. Previously she served as the medical director for Cancer Services in the PeaceHealth Northwest Network, which includes St. Joseph Cancer Center in Bellingham, Washington; PeaceIsland Hospital on San Juan Island, Washington; and PeaceHealth Ketchikan, Alaska. She also served as the medical director of the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington, N.C., and held appointments as a consulting associate in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology and Transplantation at Duke, and as an affiliate associate professor in the Department of Medicine at East Carolina University.
Dr. Crews served as ACCC Treasurer (2013-2015), ACCC President-Elect (2015-2016), and ACCC President (2016-2017). She has served as the president of the North Carolina Oncology Association (NCOA) and as NCOA’s legislative liaison to the North Carolina General Assembly. She is on the Editorial Committee for the ACCC Oncology Drug Database, a reviewer for the Journal of Oncology Practice, and a member of the ASCO Practice Guidelines Implementation Network. She has been named to the Best Doctors in America since 2007.
Dr. Crews received her BS degree in Biology with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her MD from Duke University and completed training in internal medicine and oncology at Duke, where she served as assistant chief resident. She is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, is senior director of Partners Connected Health Innovation (CHI), where he is responsible for leading a multidisciplinary team to identify and solve challenges in healthcare delivery using innovative technology-based solutions.
The core focus of Dr. Jethwani’s research is in facilitating better care delivery through connected health programs by enabling improved patient engagement, patient-provider communication, and patient satisfaction with care. So far, his research has shown that programs which are personalized to each patient’s unique psychology and needs, forge higher engagement and in turn better outcomes. Dr. Jethwani continues to develop analytic and programmatic modalities to improve the understanding of personalization concepts to connected health. He has worked extensively with sensor technology, wearables, and mobile devices as well as social media to deliver care to patients.
Jennifer C. King, PhD, is the Chief Scientific Officer for the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. She is a cancer research scientist turned patient advocate who offers a unique perspective: striking a balance between understanding the impact and mechanisms of new treatments and being able to explain what it all means to the greater cancer community. She uses her training to lead cutting-edge research initiatives to improve the lives of those living with or at risk for lung cancer.
As a translational oncology researcher, Dr. King has studied new molecular targets for cancer therapeutics and developed oncology mouse models at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA. She has worked in the nonprofit space for more than a decade, overseeing Conquer Cancer Foundation's research grant programs and portfolios, working in health IT and data governance for CancerLinQ,® and co-founding a patient-facing health data-sharing nonprofit, SHARE For Cures.
Dr. King serves on multiple advisory boards and workgroups for national organizations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Association of Community Cancer Centers, the National Lung Cancer Roundtable, and various pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies.
Dr. King earned a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS from Duke University. She is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Junaid Razzak, MBBS, MD, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He recently served as the founding chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and founding director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Razzak is also the founding member and CEO of Aman Healthcare Services—a nonprofit organization in Karachi. Dr. Razzak played a pivotal role in the establishment of emergency medicine as a specialty in Pakistan, starting the first advanced life support service in Karachi and helping launch the largest health call center in Pakistan.
Dr. Razzak’s current research focuses on implementing and measuring health system innovations for enhancing access to emergency healthcare for vulnerable populations, especially in low- and middle-income countries. As director of telemedicine in the Emergency Medicine Department at Hopkins, Dr. Razzak is leading an innovative clinical and research program on the use of technology in improving access to emergency care.
Despite a century-long history and a substantial body of recent empirical evidence that attests to its clinical and economic effectiveness and improved access, telemedicine has yet to become a routine part of clinical practice for the majority of clinicians. If used appropriately, it can serve as an effective substitute for in-person care which does not require physical examination in nearly all facets of the medical care process, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and follow-up.
When diagnosed with cancer, the typical patient responds
with trepidation, anxiety, and fear. This experience
engenders a bewildering set of questions, including the
cause, treatment options, prognosis, appropriate sources of care,
and affordability. Of paramount importance is ready access to expert
resources with the requisite knowledge and skill. Telemedicine is a
modality of care that addresses all these issues.
In the current oncology clinical trials landscape, many barriers
remain to clinical trial enrollment that affect both the oncologist
and the patient. Among these are trial locations, strict eligibility
requirements, insufficient resources to support appropriate clinical
trial education and screening, as well as patient and provider
attitudes about trials.
Emergency physicians are partners in providing care to your acutely ill patients. Since emergency physicians’ experience with and exposure to the novel immunotherapies is relatively limited, it is important that ED physicians and nurses are aware of the indications for these agents and informed on potential acute and chronic complications of immunotherapy for cancer.