In just a few months, COVID-19 changed the world. Millions have been infected and hundreds of thousands have died at the time of writing. This health emergency has strained healthcare systems around the world.
Amidst this disruption, COVID-19 has put innumerable other lives at risk. Other diseases and conditions haven’t gone away during the pandemic. What’s changed is how they’re treated. In many cases, “change” has meant delaying treatment. That means that manageable chronic conditions are less closely monitored, patients may be reluctant to go to the hospital if they think they’re having a heart attack or a stroke. And, for cancer patients, delays in treatment can be equivalent to a death sentence.
Making remote working work for oncology
Philips Healthcare has long been working to make cancer diagnosis and treatment better. Designed during pre-pandemic times, its solutions have proven valuable tools during the crisis. Simon Omer, Head of R&D, Philips Radiation Oncology, North America, says “During COVID-19, in-person coordination of therapy planning is made even more difficult. With OpenText we enable clinicians to remotely access information, leading to accelerated time to treatment, impacting patient outcomes.”
One of the major challenges in cancer treatment has been the integration and coordination of patient data. The treatment team needs unfettered access as quickly as possible so everyone gets the big picture.
Integration is vital as users in different locations access systems remotely and patient data can remain fragmented in multiple applications. “The way healthcare is delivered now, it’s not just a single location or even a single workstation. It is spread across multiple facilities and multiple caregivers alike,” says Shawn Gibbons, head of the Platform Solutions Group for Philips Radiation Oncology. “Physicians, nurses and other treatment staff need access to the patient data. And, when they do look at data, they’re not looking at it from only one particular application, but across multiple applications.”
To address these concerns, Philips chose OpenText™ Exceed™ TurboX to provide remote access to its IntelliSpace Radiation Oncology platform, which offers a single integrated solution to enable doctors and clinicians to view, prescribe and plan treatments remotely over hospital networks, quickly and efficiently with increased diagnostic confidence.
To be effective, Philips needed to enable the sharing of complex diagnostic images between clinicians. Being able to handle images and deliver them wherever they are needed with pixel-perfect results and perfect color rendering was another advantage for Exceed TurboX.
And as with any application, privacy and compliance mattered too. Exceed TurboX increases the security and privacy of patient data, by enabling strong encryption, integrated authentication and idle session logout for remote interactive sessions. It provides security on several levels to protect the system from internal and external attacks, keeping core applications in a central data center to ensure there is no unauthorized access.
When undergoing treatment many cancer patients are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, and are at greater risk of COVID-19 infection (and other infections) and, if infected, have poorer outcomes. By allowing diagnosis and consultation to occur remotely, patients can remain in lower-risk environments, minimizing the risk of complications. Furthermore, patients do not need to endure the stress of delayed treatment.
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