Advances and future directions in the use of mobile health in supportive cancer care: proceedings of the 2019 MASCC Annual Meeting symposium

Support Care Cancer. 2020 Sep;28(9):4059-4067. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05513-x. Epub 2020 May 14.


Purpose: The role of mobile health (mHealth) technology in cancer care has evolved alongside the rapid development in digital technology. Its use can come with significant potential benefits; however, such use may also be associated with risks. This paper summarizes the latest developments around mHealth use in cancer care presented by a panel of experts at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.

Methods: Through lectures, case studies, and panel discussions, speakers and participants (including cancer specialist doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals) evaluated current and emerging mHealth methods for supportive care in cancer survivorship. Focus areas and special considerations were agreed upon by consensus.

Results: Three focus areas for the use of mHealth in cancer care were identified: activation and support of self-management, exercise oncology, and enablement of survivorship care delivery. In addition to these focus areas, two special considerations were highlighted: technology-enhanced supportive cancer care for disparate populations, and ethical considerations relevant to the use of technology in supportive care.

Conclusion: mHealth has the potential to revolutionize and transform cancer care delivery. Future research should guide further advances in the use of technology in supportive cancer care and carefully explore the safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and implementation of interventions delivered through mHealth platforms.

Keywords: Cancer; Mobile health; Oncology; Survivorship; Technology; mHealth.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Telemedicine / methods*