Digital Healthcare

What is Digital Healthcare?

Digital Healthcare is a broad multidisciplinary area that examines the intersection of technology and healthcare delivery. It involves the use of information technology, digital tools, and electronic platforms to improve the delivery of healthcare services, enhance patient care, and health outcomes.

Research in this in this area includes data infrastructure, integration, and analysis from a wide range of areas such as clinical informatics, data science, patient-generated health data, and personalized medicine.

Areas of interest include:

Patient-generated Health Data

The collection and integration of patient reported outcomes, clinical biomarkers, and other patient generated health data to inform cancer care delivery. Research topics in this area include remote monitoring, clinical decision support tools, patient engagement, and assessing the scalability of symptom screening, especially in underserved populations.

Improving the Management of symPtoms during And following Cancer Treatment (IMPACT)

IMPACT is designed to evaluate the implementation of systematic symptom management in cancer care delivery.

Ashley Wilder Smith, PhD, MPH
Outcomes Research Branch

Learn more about the IMPACT ConsortiumExternal Web Site Policy


Technological advances, coupled with changes in healthcare needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to a substantial increase in the use of telehealth. This uptick has been seen across care settings including primary care, oncology care, and other specialty care. While its use has been critical, a strong evidence base is needed to determine best practices and under what situations telehealth approaches can most effectively be used in cancer care. Thus, the National Cancer Institute is supporting research to identify and improve telehealth for cancer care delivery.

Research is needed to identify and evaluate telehealth approaches in cancer care in the following areas:

  • Examination and improvement of telehealth integration in clinical workflow processes and outcomes
  • Development of telehealth care models for underserved communities
  • Considerations for special populations (e.g., children, cognitively impaired patients)
  • Assessment of how telehealth can affect (improve or worsen) health outcomes and equity in the delivery of cancer-related healthcare services
  • Evaluation of the impacts of policies affecting insurance coverage of and reimbursement for telehealth services
  • Development and evaluation of new telehealth tools, methods, and associated technology
  • Use of telehealth to complement or extend in-person procedures
  • Determining best practices for scaling and sustaining telehealth in cancer care

Featured Initiative

Telehealth Research Centers of Excellence (TRACE)

Research centers focused on rapidly developing an evidence base of telehealth approaches to cancer care, spanning prevention to survivorship.

Roxanne E. Jensen, PhD
Outcomes Research Branch

Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Digital Healthcare often uses vast amounts of patient data in many different formats, locations, quality and scales. Machine learning algorithms enable the identification of patterns and trends in many forms of cancer-related data.

Research priorities in this area include:

  • Applying Predictive analytics and multi-modal data to identify risk of poor patient outcomes
  • Natural language processing of clinician notes to identify key care events or improve data quality
  • Use of large language models (chatbots) to inform treatment decisions

Highlighted Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs)

Featured Funding Opportunities

Notice(s) of Special Interest

  • Telehealth in Cancer Care (NOT-CA-24-033External Web Site Policy)
  • Technology Development for Cancer Control and Population Science Research (NOT-CA-23-037External Web Site Policy)
  • Assessing Real-World Effectiveness and Implementation of Telehealth-Guided Provider-to-Provider Communication among Rural Communities (NOT-HL-23-083External Web Site Policy)

Publications & Reports

NCI Request for Information (RFI ), NOT-CA-20-080External Web Site Policy

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Workshop Summary

Machine Learning and Health Outcomes in Cancer Care Delivery Research (PDF, 3.2 MB)
Last Updated: 12 Jul, 2024