Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Temple and Fox Chase developing interactive program to assist prostate cancer patients

19.07.2002


When a man is first diagnosed with prostate cancer, the initial visit to the doctor becomes a blur. Complex decisions about treatment now face the patient, yet formulating adequate questions is often difficult. Further clouding the picture is the tendancy of some physicians to only recommend treatment options in which they specialize.

To empower patients facing these difficult and complex decisions, Temple University’s College of Engineering and the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC), armed with a joint two-year, $200,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute, are developing an interactive, computer-based program to provide comprehensive information to men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The program, called Prostate Interactive Educational System (PIES), will present relevant disease and treatment information that is tailored to the patient’s information seeking preference.

The program is being designed by Dr. Brian Butz, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Temple, and Dr. Michael A. Diefenbach, health psychologist and associate member of the division of population science at FCCC.

"There is a need for patient information, particularly with prostate cancer, because the patient has the option of several treatment methods such as surgery, radiation or seed implantation," says Diefenbach. "There are several equivalent treatment options, all of which can potentially have a significant impact on the quality of life of the patient."

The program will use an interactive expert system that was previously developed by Butz for use as a tutorial program for electrical and computer engineering students. That system is presently in beta testing at about a half-dozen colleges and universities.

The PIES program will be modeled as a "virtual" health center consisting of a number of rooms, including a reception area, physician offices, consultation rooms, a library, and a group meeting room.

"It will be very interactive and easy to maneuver," says Butz. "For example, if a patient wants to talk to a physician, he can use the software to talk to a urologist or a radiation oncologist and then ask the physician questions, which the program will answer.

They’ll be able to go to a virtual library and read about things or find Web sites where they can go and get additional information." Butz says right now a patient can access information about prostrate cancer via the Internet, "but it’s like a big dump truck coming in and unloading all the information on you."

Butz and Diefenbach hope that the program, contained on a CD, will serve as catalyst for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer to formulate questions for their physician and will help them make an informed decision on possible treatments.

"The patient has a lot of clinical, as well as psychological, factors to consider before making a treatment decision. If the patient is lucky, their doctor will present several treatment options. And he will then turn the decision over to the patient," explains Diefenbach. "A lot of patients are not used to that kind of role. Normally, they go to a physician and they expect the physician will tell them what kind of treatment they should have.

"Right now, a lot of patients seek information from a variety of different sources," he adds. "They go to a Web page, they go to the library, they talk to friends and family. What our program will do is combine a lot of information from various sources and present it in an easy-to-understand, concise manner."

The program will also feature a "virtual" support group, comprised of actual prostate cancer survivors. The patient will be able to ask the support group members about such things as how they coped with their situation, how they made their treatment decision, and how it impacted their lives.

"PIES will allow a patient to seek out and ask," says Butz. "Our program will find out how much a patient wants to know and if they seem like an individual who wants more, it will offer you more."

"One of the novel aspects of our program is that while the patient is going through the program, he will have the opportunity to jot down notes in a virtual notebook," adds Diefenbach. "The program will ask the patient to list his major concerns at the end when he’s done. And those concerns are then incorporated into a report."

Two reports will be generated at the completion of the program. One is for the physician who can see what issues concern the patient most and those issues can then be addressed first by the physician.

"We think this structures the interaction between the physician and the patient in a much more efficient way," says Diefenbach. "It would ensure that the patient would receive the information that is important to him."

The second report will summarize the information that the patient has accessed and serve as a reminder for the patient to go back and access other information if he so chooses.

Butz and Diefenbach expect PIES to be available to Fox Chase patients in 2004, and hopes eventually to modify the program to serve breast cancer patients.

Preston M. Moretz | EurekAlert

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies
30.03.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht 'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine
30.03.2017 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>