Although there are increasing numbers of telemedicine programmes in the USA, few have offered teleoncology services, so that the role of telemedicine in the practice of clinical oncology has yet to be fully defined. Telemedicine has been used successfully for direct patient care in Kansas. It is also a method of providing supportive care for the cancer patient, including assessments of pain and nutrition. In addition, televised tumour conferences and nursing education courses can help smaller communities develop a level of expertise that allows patients to be treated locally. Telemedicine may well be used in future for access to national and international cancer experts, and for participation in new cancer treatment protocols through cooperative group trials. When practising oncology via telemedicine, there are unique problems, including issues regarding technology interactive video and radiograph review and practice patient oncologist preferences and doctor-patient communication . Very little has been published in the area of tele-oncology so far, and studies concerning its efficacy, cost-effectiveness and the best organizational structure are still in progress. However, telemedicine appears to be a useful technique in the practice of oncology.
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