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Due to the rapid growth of cancer survivors in need of cancer rehabilitation it will be impossible to supply this service on a face-to-face basis to all patients in future. The aim of this project is to design, implement and evaluate a remote monitoring and treatment (RMT) service for patients with cancer who have undergone thoracic or abdominal surgery for lung, liver, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, or colorectal cancer.
Earlier diagnoses together with improvements in treatment regiments have led to significant survival gains for individuals with cancer. However, cancer survivors are often faced with late and persistent treatment-related side-effects, such as fatigue, depression, and a decline in physical fitness, physical functioning and quality of life. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs are shown to ameliorate these treatment-related late and persistent effects in cancer survivors.
Rehabilitation programs usually consist of physical training, sometimes in combination with psycho-education, and are generally provided on a face-to-face basis, with patients making frequent visits to health care professionals. There are however two reasons to provide this service differently in future. Firstly, for patients dealing with or recovering from a severe illness like cancer it is preferable to receive rehabilitation in their own environment as much as possible. Next to that, when treatment is given at home, it is expected that techniques learned are more easily implemented in daily life. Lastly, due to the growing number of patients in need of cancer rehabilitation it will not be feasible in future to supply this service to all patients on a face-to-face basis only. It is expected that if treatment strategies can be applied in the daily environment of the patient in an effective and efficient manner, this will contribute positively to the quality of care of these patients in future.
- Development of scenarios together with patients, professionals, and technicians which will describe the required content of the RMT service, the technical requirements, the organization, implementation, and financing of the service.
- Development and evaluation of adequate sensing techniques to monitor the relevant health status parameters of patients in an ambulatory setting.
- Development and evaluation of personalized feedback strategies to inform the patient about his physical health status.
- Development of an ICT infrastructure which will enable data transport, data storage, data representation by means of a portal for both the patient and the professional, and communication between patients and professionals, and between professionals themselves.
- Small-scale evaluation of the developed RMT service with both patients and professions. This evaluation will focus on technical performance, usability and acceptance of the RMT service from an end-user (patients and professionals) point of view.
- Implementation and evaluation of the RMT service when applied in everyday care in multiple hospitals.