The dot.rural ASICA project has been recently featured in the news on television, radio and in print media. The ASICA project seeks to improve the experience of aftercare for those diagnosed with melanoma, especially those living in remote and rural communities. All such patients are at risk of a recurrence or a second melanoma and research indicates that the two-years following diagnosis is a particularly anxious time for patients. Patients in remote and rural communities incur considerable costs to attend scheduled hospital follow-up and face an anxious wait until concerns are addressed. This project uses technology to empower patients to monitor their own skin using an application which reminds them how and when to do it, and how to react if a concern arises. In such situations the ASICA intervention proposes that rapid resolution of anxiety be achieved via: telephone advice from a nurse specialist; the transmission of high quality photographs for assessment by a consultant; or a three-way web enabled consultation between a remote specialist and a co-located GP and patient. The consultation will also be further enabled with digital dermoscopy for accurate assessment of worrying new skin lesions by a remotely situated dermatologist. The project will explore the application and integration of different enabling and complementary technologies and has the potential to reduce the burden of travel to distant cancer centres for follow up appointments.
The University’s press release includes a video.