The future is here: An app weighs the risk of cancer treatment delay during this pandemic

With growing concerns about primary healthcare during this COVID-19 pandemic, app developers have come up with a solution to weigh the risks of cancer treatment delay. 

With the COVID-19 overwhelming hospitals and healthcare workers all around the world, doctors have postponed surgery, and other treatments for cancer affected patients. The uncertainty of this pandemic has delayed the treatments for months.

The OncCOVID app developed by app developers uses the cancer data sets to help assess the need for immediate treatment or delayed treatment depending on a person’s characteristics, as well as the impact COVID has on the local community. 

“For many types of cancer, the data show delays in treatment lead to worse outcomes for patients,” says lead researcher Holly Hartman, a doctoral student in biostatistics at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

She further added that “But each time a cancer patient goes to the hospital to receive care, they’re also putting themselves at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. So, it’s essential to balance the need for treatment for this very serious disease and the extra risk that COVID-19 poses for cancer patients, whose immune systems are often compromised.”

It should be brought to light that the app should not be allowed to provide any medical advice to patients. A number of factors depend on the provider’s recommendation to delay or process with the cancer treatment including the capacity and safety of the hospital to treat a cancer patient due in this pandemic.

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