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J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2013 Dec;2013(47):162-8. doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgt016.

Identifying early dehydration risk with home-based sensors during radiation treatment: a feasibility study on patients with head and neck cancer.

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Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, PO Box 301436, Unit 1330, Houston, TX 77030.



Systems that enable remote monitoring of patients' symptoms and other health-related outcomes may optimize cancer care outside of the clinic setting. CYCORE (CYberinfrastructure for COmparative effectiveness REsearch) is a software-based prototype for a user-friendly cyberinfrastructure supporting the comprehensive collection and analyses of data from multiple domains using a suite of home-based and mobile sensors. This study evaluated the feasibility of using CYCORE to address early at-home identification of dehydration risk in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.


Head and neck cancer patients used home-based sensors to capture weight, blood pressure, pulse, and patient-reported outcomes for two 5-day periods during radiation therapy. Data were sent to the radiation oncologist of each head and neck cancer patient, who viewed them online via a Web-based interface. Feasibility outcomes included study completion rate, acceptability and perceived usefulness of the intervention, and adherence to the monitoring protocol. We also evaluated whether sensor data could identify dehydration-related events.


Fifty patients consented to participate, and 48 (96%) completed the study. More than 90% of patients rated their ease, self-efficacy, and satisfaction regarding use of the sensor suite as extremely favorable, with minimal concerns expressed regarding data privacy issues. Patients highly valued the ability to have immediate access to objective, self-monitoring data related to personal risk for dehydration. Clinician assessments indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the ease of using the CYCORE system and the resulting ability to monitor their patients remotely.


Implementing CYCORE in a clinical oncology care setting is feasible and highly acceptable to both patients and providers.

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