November 28, 2023Read More
Dave is an Ontario patient battling stage three pancreatic cancer – one of the worst in terms of survival rates. After getting multiple liver embolizations, PocketHealth showed Dave the extent of his progress, giving him peace of mind and confidence. He continues to use the platform to better understand his condition and thoroughly prepare for conversations with his physicians.
How did you learn about PocketHealth?
I have stage 3 pancreatic cancer and imaging is just a regular part of my life. I went in for a routine X-ray and while I was waiting, I noticed the PocketHealth poster. I thought, ‘Well, that’s interesting,’ because when you go to see your oncologist, you don’t always understand what’s going on. You don’t have a lot of insight into your own disease as far as depth and severity. I signed up for PocketHealth and all my CT scans, MRIs and doctors’ notes showed up in my account. I was able to sit down, read them and just take my time to absorb what was there. Sometimes when I’m with the doctor, I’m worried about his time or when the next patient is coming in, so I’m not able to get all my questions out. I found it interesting and it helped me quite a bit.
How else was getting access to all your imaging helpful?
I saw scans I had going all the way back to 2013. I was able to look back and see the doctors’ notes – I don’t know if I was even told what they were at the time. It was nice to be able to look back and see what was said. Everything is going so fast when you’re in an office and the doctor says, ‘Do you have any questions?’ You kind of go blank sometimes. It’s just been dumped on you and you haven’t had a chance to really think about it. Now I can go over my records at my leisure, absorb them and have my questions ready for the next time I see him.
After looking at your imaging, did you feel like you knew more about what was going on with your cancer?
Actually, yes. I had liver embolizations – a procedure where cancer treatments are injected into an artery, with the aim of cutting off the tumor’s blood supply. I had one in November 2020, then again in January 2021 and again in March of that year. When I went in to see my doctor, he said, ‘Oh, your tumor shrank a little bit’ — and I knew it was a positive thing. But when I actually looked at those scans, I found out it shrunk by a whole centimeter. In my mind, it was better information than just hearing, “Oh, it shrunk.” I think it’s fantastic. It was $49 for me to get PocketHealth and it’s a great piece of mind.
As a result of what you learned, have you done anything different with regards to your care?
A little bit. But I think it’s more the mental satisfaction that I get out of it. It takes the edge off. When you’re leaving your doctor’s appointment, everything has hit you all at once. Now you get a chance to see your results and actually understand what’s happening. When you have cancer, your condition is always in the back of your mind. When you actually see on paper that things have changed, especially for the positive, it makes you feel better.
In your experience, what sort of patients or people do you think would get the most value out of a tool like PocketHealth?
Patients with chronic diseases. People with cancer who are constantly getting CTs or other scans. When somebody is chronically ill, they’re always looking for comparisons between their doctors’ appointments or scans. You want to actually know for yourself the direction you’re going. I was lucky, I saw a positive change. But if I hadn’t seen that PocketHealth poster, I wouldn’t have known the magnitude of the positive change. I think if the doctors promoted it, that would be great. If my doctor said to me, ‘Well, Dave we have this system called PocketHealth, you can look at your own imaging and if you have any questions, we can go over them. It would be really helpful for patients like me.
PocketHealth is putting hundreds of thousands of patients just like Dave back in charge of their healthcare journey by giving them easy online access and ownership of all their medical imaging and making it a breeze to share this information with doctors and care providers around the world.
Access your medical images here, to stay informed in your health journey today.