Currently there is a limited understanding of the long term quality-of-life related side effects associated with certain radiation treatments and many other types of medical treatments and procedures in general. It can be a challenge or impractical for patients to continue to be seen by there specialist for years after their treatment. This is especially relevant in areas of the world like British Columbia, as many individuals live in rural or northern communities and have to travel to meet with their specialist. As technologies improve and our society becomes more familiar and comfortable with using computers, there is the increasing potential to use online platforms as a means of communicating and following up with patients. Such technologies could improve care for individual patients and can help to identify treatments and techniques that have fewer side effects.

This pilot project, undertaken by the Early Detection Research Group and oncologists at the CCSI, will help to see if this is an effective way to continue to monitor patients, and is also serving to guide the development of larger agency-wide online quality of life monitoring platform. The Early Detection Group is now working with the Specialized Provincial & Ancillary Services of the Information Management/Information Technology Services at the PHSA to implement this methodology as a clinical tool for all tumor groups at the BCCA for collecting patient reported outcomes, that will be managed by under the direction of David Gavin, Director, Data Integration & Knowledge Transfer, Cancer Surveillance & Outcomes Population Oncology- BCCA.