Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Creates Innovative Telemedicine Platform to Provide Patients Greater Access to Care


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is marking a year since the launch of MSK Telemedicine – an online solution for remote care that has been used for more than 200,000 appointments since its launch last August. MSK Telemedicine, created to provide patients access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future, allows MSK patients and families to virtually interact with their entire care team, seamlessly replicating an in-clinic visit.

In 2021, MSK published significant research examining telemedicine’s impact on patients’ cancer care in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Care Network (JCCN). MSK researchers reviewed survey responses from radiation oncology patients and found that most patients who utilized telemedicine were highly satisfied with their care, understood their treatment plans, and were confident that their cancer was being treated appropriately. In addition, MSK was recently awarded a prestigious grant from the National Cancer institute (NCI), under the umbrella of the Cancer Moonshot, to create a new Telehealth Research Center, a first of its kind.

Working in collaboration with Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft, MSK’s Digital Informatics & Technology Solutions team (DigITs) developed and refined MSK Telemedicine over 12 months. The collaboration allowed MSK to quickly respond to the need for enhanced remote care during the pandemic that left many patients unable to visit doctors and hospitals. The MSK DigITs team leveraged the combined technical resources of Accenture and Microsoft to develop a standardized telemedicine platform that could be used at scale.

“There was an incredible need for us to make changes in our technology during the early days of the pandemic, so our DigITs team worked tirelessly to develop MSK Telemedicine,” said Atefeh “Atti” Riazi, MSK’s Chief Information Officer. “MSK Telemedicine was designed to give our patients more options to receive care, and it will remain an important tool for us to bring exceptional care and expertise to our patients, when and where they need us.”

MSK Telemedicine integrates with Microsoft Teams, which many clinicians are familiar with, while patients join the meetings via a Web browser experience hosted by Microsoft Azure Communications Services, eliminating the need to download new software. MSK’s DigITs team provided – and continues to support – the software development, maintenance, and day-to-day support of MSK Telemedicine.

Patients receive a secure link to join MSK Telemedicine. They enter the “Virtual Clinic Room” – a virtual space where patients check-in, sign any necessary forms, and complete surveys. MSK care coordinators, nurses, fellows, interpreters, and other clinical team members can join the doctor and patient in the virtual appointment using their existing clinical systems and telemedicine dashboard. Patients and doctors can securely access e-consent forms from within MSK Telemedicine throughout the visit. Additionally, patients can invite family and friends for support through a secure link, allowing for a familiar and effective care experience.

“The overall experience was designed in close collaboration with MSK clinicians, patients, and administrators to support all important workflows. Members of MSK’s Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality, clinician champions and the hospital operations team were critical to the development and enhancement of MSK Telemedicine,” said Peter D. Stetson, MD, MSK’s Chief Health Informatics Officer.

“MSK’s integration of Azure Communication Services and Microsoft Teams enables remote patient communities across the nation to access high quality, multidisciplinary care from their own devices at home,” said Bob Serr, Vice President, Azure Communication Services at Microsoft Corp.

“Technology can bring healthcare visits right into the living rooms of patients, providing new access points to care and creating a more convenient experience, but it requires a holistic approach from providers,” said Kristin Ficery, who leads Accenture’s North America health industry group. “This groundbreaking work with MSK and Microsoft is reinventing care delivery and sets the gold standard for how to interact with patients virtually.” 

John Connolly
Number: (917) 816-6551
Email: [email protected]