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How Can Wearable Technology Improve Cancer Treatment?

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How can wearable technology improve cancer treatment? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Keck Medicine of USC, 500+ internationally renowned doctors at a leading academic medical center, on Quora:

Current cancer treatment is based on episodic encounters. Even during chemotherapy, patients generally see their physician for maybe eight to ten minutes every three weeks, said Peter Kuhn, ATOM-HP's co-lead researcher and a professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

"The more than 30,000 minutes between visits are a missed opportunity," Kuhn said. "Technology can be leveraged to fill this gap and provide a comprehensive picture. The collected data can lead to better treatment decisions, better survival rates, and better understanding between physician and patient."

ATOM-HP is a convergent science initiative bringing together collaborators from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Keck School of Medicine, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Dornsife and the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy.

"As a university, we are making headway on multiple fronts to address the cancer crisis," USC Provost Michael Quick said. "We have faculty, researchers and students across disciplines who are working collaboratively to fast track the detection of cancer and, ultimately, to find a cure for this disease. We strongly support this type of convergent science at USC, and we know we will have an impact on this widespread and devastating disease."

The real-time data ATOM-HP provides likely will fast-track cancer research.

"One of the great barriers to solving the complicated cancer puzzle is a lack of timely information," Kuhn said. "Analyses of cancer data usually become available years after the information was first collected. Having access to real-time data will be invaluable for scientists."

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The ATOM-HP project is a joint effort between the National Cancer Institute's Center for Strategic Initiatives and the U.S. Department of Defense's Rapid Response Technology Office. USC researchers aim to improve the lives of cancer patients undergoing treatment and the survival chances of warfighters going on missions. Both patients and warfighters suffer from treatment- or duty-induced fatigue that impairs their ability to survive or perform. While the sources of the fatigue might be different, the measurement approaches might be similar.

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