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P3-3 Telemedicine, artificial intelligence, and digital therapeutics: rise of the robots or the future of compassionate care?
  1. Mihir M Kamdar
  1. Massachusetts General Hospital, USA


Palliative care finds itself in a conundrum. Our field is rapidly growing, and yet in the coming decades, the need for palliative care in most countries will far outpace the number of specialist clinicians available to provide it. Hence, it is imperative that we develop novel care delivery models in the present to address the needs of our future patients. Telepalliative care, digital therapeutics and artificial intelligence represent innovative means to help extend the reach of palliative care. Telepalliative care is the practice of providing palliative care using technology to deliver care at a distance, often through video platforms. Digital therapeutics (DTx) represent an expanding field of evidence-based healthcare interventions that utilize everyday technology, such as mobile apps, online platforms, and wearable devices to augment care delivery. Artificial intelligence (AI) involves the use of adaptive algorithms to perform tasks which typically require human cognition. If harnessed thoughtfully, telepalliative care, digital therapeutics, and AI can make palliative care more effective, efficient, and expansive. This session will examine the numerous possible benefits and barriers of integrating telemedicine, DTx, and AI into palliative care. Drawing on experience from operationalizing a large, multisite telepalliative care RCT and the COVID-19 pandemic, we will discuss the opportunities, challenges, and nuances of palliative care delivery via telemedicine. We will explore how digital therapeutics can be used to better address symptom management and help initiate advanced care planning through case examples. Through discussions on machine learning, we will learn how AI can better identify patients who can benefit from palliative care. We will discuss how telepalliative care, DTx, and AI can simultaneously improve patient outcomes, reduce clinical burden, and paradoxically bring patients closer to us. We will also consider the unique patient, clinician, and system barriers that exist in palliative care to the adoption of these technologies. Lastly, we will aim to empower and challenge the audience to become more engaged in developing telepalliative care, DTx, and AI solutions to the clinical challenges that exist in palliative care.

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