New MASCC Subgroup on Digital Health

January 2020

Digital health — the use of technology to improve health and healthcare — is a simple concept, but a broad field that encompasses telehealth and telemedicine, health information technology, mobile health, and personalized medicine. One of its prime aims and benefits is the empowerment of all individuals to make better-informed health decisions by providing accurate and appropriate information as well as options for prevention, early diagnosis, and disease management outside traditional healthcare settings. Digital health products include mobile medical apps, decision support software, wearable devices, and more.

Within the fields of both oncology and supportive care, digital health is rapidly becoming recognized as an innovative and important means of improving medical efficiency and patient outcomes. Accordingly, the MASCC Executive Committee has approved a Digital Health Subgroup. The initial aims of the new Subgroup are to promote education and awareness of health technologies in supportive cancer care and to create research collaboration opportunities in digital health among MASCC members. At this time, the new Subgroup is maintained within the Education Study Group, but with the recognition that digital health is a cross-cutting theme. It is expected that this new Subgroup will forge partnerships with many other MASCC Study Groups and Subgroups.


Penelope (Penny) Schofield, PhD, and Ysabella (Bella) Van Sebille, PhD, will co-chair the new Digital Health Subgroup.* Both have a professional interest in digital health and have been active members of MASCC for many years. The Subgroup will be formally launched with an inaugural meeting at the 2020 MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting in Seville, which will also feature a parallel session on digital health. All MASCC members are invited to join the new Subgroup and contribute to the creation of its mission and objectives. (Remember that you must first be a member of the Education Study Group to join this Subgroup. You can join up to three Study Groups.) Co-Chairs Penny and Bella also welcome any research ideas. Share your ideas at the Subgroup meeting in Seville or contact the co-chairs by email: [email protected] and [email protected].

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*Dr. Schofield is Professor of Health Psychology in the Department of Psychology and an Honorary Principal Research Fellow at Department of Cancer Experiences Research at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Dr. Van Sebille is the Program Facilitator for the Division of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia Online and a member of the Cancer Treatment Toxicities Group.