The 23rd annual DEGRO conference took place in Berlin from the 15th until the 18th of June. Over 3000 doctors, radiographers and physicists visited the event to participate in scientific workshops, attend lectures and visit the industrial exhibition where more than 55 medical companies displayed their latest products and innovations in the field of radio-oncology.
Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (ePROMs) was one of the hottest topics of the scientific program, perhaps also due to the remarkable findings presented at ASCO conference just 10 days before. Prof. Dirk Vordermark from University Clinic Halle presented on using patient reported outcomes to monitor side effects within oncology and Dr. Birgit van Oorschot from University Clinic Würzburg provided a comprehensive account on studies that used patient reported outcomes to monitor patients’ quality of life within clinical routine. All presentations regarding ePROMs accentuated the need for patient-friendly and adaptive electronic questionnaires, in order to enable precise research findings and evaluations.
The evaluation of ePROM tools was also a recurring research topic displayed at the DEGRO poster exhibition, highlighting the growing awareness and demand for digital monitoring, communication and follow-up tools within oncology. In particular several recent JMIR publications (by Kessel and Vogel et al., http://mhealth.jmir.org/2017/6/e81/, https://www.jmir.org/2016/11/e312) emphasize this development.
Conversations with leading oncologists and clinical representatives at the industry exhibition also affirmed that the benefits and increasing importance of ePROMs and digital patient monitoring are clearly recognized in Germany, and that there is a growing demand for digitalized follow-up solutions at radiotherapy clinics. Best technologies are built in continuous collaboration with patients, healthcare professionals and researchers.
Inspired by the discussions at DEGRO, we are eagerly looking forward to bring Kaiku Health to several new German radiotherapy and oncology clinics