**** NSHA Media Release
Noona® improves communication between cancer patients and their care teams
Nova Scotia cancer patients are now able to access their appointment schedules, receive appointment reminders, and be notified of any schedule changes on their smart phone, computer, or tablet through the noona® patient engagement platform and portal.
The scheduling feature is the first noona application to be introduced in Nova Scotia. It coincides with the introduction of electronic appointment scheduling for patients with cancer under a single provincial oncology information system (OIS), ARIA® OIS. This is fundamental to uniting all cancer services in the province.
“Phase one of noona and the provincial electronic appointment scheduling are major milestones for our Oncology Transformation Project (OTP),” said Dr. Amanda Caissie, Head, Department of Radiation Oncology, Dalhousie University, and Nova Scotia Health and Medical Director lead for OTP. “Radiation oncology had an opportunity last year to pilot noona, with the majority of patients reporting it made their journey easier.
“When fully implemented across the provincial cancer care program, noona will improve communication between patients and their care teams across Nova Scotia, regardless of the cancer treatment they are receiving,” Caissie said.
Cancer Care Program patients will receive an email and text message with an introduction to noona and the steps to follow to download the app and activate their account. This will enable a digital patient companion that will be with them throughout their cancer care journey.
“Noona is very user friendly,” said Dr. Helmut Hollenhorst, senior medical director, Cancer Care Program. “However, technical support will be available for anyone who has a problem registering or accessing their appointments. We know there will be some who do not have, or are unable to use a cell phone, computer, or tablet. The care team will work with anyone who does not have one of these devices to determine the best form of communication for them.”
“Noona is a key innovation in cancer care in the province, providing easy access to digital patient education and remote symptom monitoring. This exciting technology will soon be available to Nova Scotians and will allow providers to offer timely access to care based on symptoms reported by patients from the comfort of their homes,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President, Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health.
“We are excited to bring digital health solutions to Nova Scotians, making[EB2] patient care and education available at home and in communities,” Tomblin Murphy said.
As part of its $100-million ‘We Are campaign’, the QEII Foundation is actively raising $1.1million towards noona and patient-reported outcomes technology under the overall Oncology Transformation Project. Generous QEII Foundation donors are playing a critical role in making this innovative patient engagement platform a reality.
“Noona provides a virtual connection between patients and their cancer care teams – ensuring Nova Scotians have the support and tools they need during their cancer journey,” said Susan Mullin, President and CEO of the QEII Foundation. “The QEII Foundation is proud to be raising $1.1 million in support of this exciting technology and its full implementation.”