The Oncology Clinic of the Future Is a Reality at Memorial Sloan Kettering


Imagine what a futuristic oncology clinic might be like.

Before your treatment, your mobile device reminds you of your appointment time and location at Memorial Sloan Kettering and notifies you that appointments are running on schedule.

When you arrive, the “smart building” automatically checks you in, alerting the phlebotomy unit and your treatment care team that you’ve arrived. A greeter escorts you to the phlebotomy unit and then into the consultation room, where you settle into a comfortable chair. The reassuring face of your sister appears on a videoconferencing screen, virtually placing her in the room with you.

The technologically integrated room announces each person on your team by name and job function. Your doctor explains your treatment plan as you review PET scan images together on a monitor and discuss your next visit. The team answers all your treatment questions, and the nurse sends you video versions of the educational material and clinical trial synopsis to review at home.

A Real-Time Laboratory in Innovation

The MSK Clinic of the Future at our 64th Street Outpatient Center is already implementing these types of cutting-edge practices for patient care and clinical research in people with lymphomas and multiple myelomas.

The space, opened in June 2014, was designed in collaboration with patients, doctors, nurses, and top architects and design teams and aims to fashion an experience that will serve as a proving ground for the future.

Waiting areas feature rotating art exhibits (including pieces by patients and staff) and provide charging stations and work areas for patients and families. Our consultation rooms are an intimate space that seamlessly transforms from examination to consultation mode via subtle lighting shifts and specially designed chairs.

Behind the scenes, real-time location services allow patients to freely move about the clinic. Patients and staff wear unobtrusive radio-frequency ID cards that enable us to automatically check people in to phlebotomy and dynamically assign consultation rooms, resulting in decreased wait times, increased transparency about delays, and timely updates — improving efficiency and work flow.

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Smart-Room Technology

By laying the groundwork for “smart rooms” responsive to each patient, we are preparing to introduce educational content and clinical research materials using in-room video portals that reflect an individual’s specific needs.

Through wireless technology, patients and physicians can review laboratory or radiology results eye to eye. Physicians can share information on their screens to examine trends in laboratory findings, view radiographic images, and coordinate care.

Simultaneously, we’re building a video library of educational and clinical research materials to convey essential information about cancer care and treatment — all of which can be seamlessly shared via email and patient portals.

The multimedia content will initially include nursing materials on managing symptoms, wellness content, nutrition advice, and clinical-trial briefs that present concepts in an understandable manner.

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The “Why” of the Clinic of the Future

At the heart of all of these efforts is our relentless drive to offer the very best cancer care in the world, centered on the specific needs of each patient.

By boosting our ability to work as a team in embracing each patient and shaping individual treatment plans, the clinic enables us to provide the latest in cutting-edge approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, the conquering of cancer.

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Dr. Paul Hamlin saved my husband's life. Not only did he treat his lymphoma by enrolling him in a clinical trial, he also kept very close tabs on his mental state (which was very precarious), always concerned, always so kind and compassionate. No question was left unanswered (believe me, I asked a lot of them!!!), we never left the office feeling uneasy, upset, unsure, or confused. Our first visit, we were looking for a second opinion.....Dr. Hamlin walked in, started speaking and that was it for us. We knew we were in the right place. We are so fortunate to live near enough to Sloan Kettering and to have Dr. Hamlin treat my husband. We are forever grateful.

Is this something that will eventually be adapted to the care and follow up for survivors and patients(such as myself) who are in long term care/studies?

Shelley, thank you for the comment about Survivorship. Dr. Hamlin responds, “MSK has a wonderful survivorship program and it is certainly integrated into the Clinic of the Future model - Our Lymphoma Survivorship program, led by Dr. Matasar and a fantastic team, has just this month began an initiative as part of our new space and will be focusing on the long-term care of our patients in survivorship, asking and answering important research questions about late effects post-treatment, and conveying ongoing care information to family MDs/PCP seamlessly.”

I would like to know more about internal radiation. (seeds, catherters, etc or any other internal radiation.

Dear E H, our blog provides a good bit of information about various forms of radiation therapy, including the types you mentioned in your question, for different types of cancer. Here’s a link that will take you to all of our stories tagged “radiation therapy”:

In addition, here is a link to fact sheets about radiation therapy provided by the National Cancer Institute:

We hope this information is useful. Thank you for your comment.

Dr Paul Hamlin is the best doctor anyone could ask for. I had Epstein Barr Virus lymphoma in just one place due to my immune system being low, he saved me with a very easy going treatment plan. I am forever grateful to him and the staff. I still see him monthly for infusions to get my IGG levels higher which is also working. I started out with a very rare blood disorder. Long story short after getting a second opinion at MSK starting with Dr Eli Diamond, I have got to say I am 100% improved and have been back to work feeling like I always felt before all this happened. They are excellent and I recommend them to anyone who has any disease the specialize in.

Dear Teresa, thank you for your kind words. We’re glad to hear you’re doing well. We will forward your comment to Dr. Hamlin. Best wishes to you.