SEATTLE — May 19, 2020 — Cancer care and digital health experts at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced a collaboration with Roche today, to develop and test a digital remote-monitoring system for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The partners seek to reduce unplanned emergency department (ED) visits and inpatient (IP) stays for cancer patients through the development of a validated digital solution, focused towards earlier intervention and improved outpatient management.
Previous research from the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) at Fred Hutch shows that nearly half of chemotherapy patients in the U.S. experience unplanned ED visits and hospital IP stays during treatment due to inadequately controlled symptoms like pain, nausea, and dehydration, and these visits are potentially avoidable. In addition, with COVID-19, cancer patients are at a higher risk of a serious infection if they need ED and IP stays. Therefore, a validated digital solution that is accepted by the healthcare community and patients may, reduce complications for cancer patients, assist cancer patients in better managing the disease, and help alleviate the economic toll associated with ED and IP visits.
“Cancer patients are already going through a difficult time in their lives and the last thing we want for them is an unexpected trip to the hospital and an accompanying bill,” said HICOR Director Dr. Scott Ramsey. “It’s our responsibility as scientists and care providers to look at technologies that could reduce the health and financial burden patients face every day together with our partners.”
The collaboration combines Fred Hutch’s expertise in cancer care delivery research, oncology analytics, health economics, and trial design with Roche’s digital health and regulatory proficiency with its leadership in oncology, digital technology development, data analytics, clinical development, and regulated products.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.