Telemedicine was recognized early in the COVID-19 pandemic as a tool to provide health care while managing risk to patients and providers. Data on differences in the uptake and utilization of telemedicine among patients with metastatic breast cancer (mBC) initiating a new line of therapy during COVID-19 in community cancer practices are limited. This study aimed to describe differences by age, race, and geographic region in the use of telemedicine among women starting a new line of therapy for mBC during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021) using real-world data (RWD).
Why this matters
Uptake of telemedicine in patients starting treatment for mBC was lower among older patients (ages 75 years and older) and patients living in the Southern and Midwestern US. Understanding health outcomes in the context of COVID-19 and cancer is complex; equitable access to telemedicine visits may help ensure continuity of care. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on how cancer care is delivered may have important implications for real-world evidence (RWE) in oncology and methods to address bias.