Dealing effectively with the burden of cancer on healthcare systems demands an integrated approach to care, with medical technology occupying a pivotal role. In its session at the World Cancer Congress, DITTA, the Global Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare IT and Radiation Therapy Trade Association explained how fragmentation within healthcare systems makes it difficult for them to effectively manage complex conditions such as cancer where the various dimensions of care - prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliation – are inseparable.
DITTA urges development of integrated care approaches that fully leverage advances in medical technology, in particular medical imaging and radiotherapy. Medical imaging can enhance the entire care pathway, delivering earlier and more accurate diagnoses, more precise monitoring of treatment and improved follow-up and monitoring post intervention. Meanwhile, advances in radiotherapy now deliver levels of precision that allow cancers to be treated that were previously considered only suitable for palliation.
Keynote speaker Professor Vincenzo Valentini, Chairman of the Oncology and Haematology Department, Policlinico Universitario A.Gemelli, Università Cattolica S.Cuore in Rome, said:
A knowledge-based approach in oncology delivers the correct clinical decisions leading to optimal outcomes. Medical imaging provides clinicians and patients with this knowledge at every stage of the treatment journey; it is essential for truly integrated cancer care.
Nicole Denjoy, DITTA Vice-Chair, said:
Currently, healthcare systems are not ideally configured to deal with the burden of cancer. Preventing and managing this disease demands an integrated care approach. Medical technology can play a pivotal role; its capacity to deliver personalised, targeted therapies makes interventions more effective with fewer side effects.
Medical technology offers the potential to transform healthcare systems. It can help them adapt to the challenge of increasing numbers of cancer patients, improving outcomes, preventing premature deaths and driving efficiencies that will permit sustainable healthcare systems.