The Latest from PatientPoint

Diagnosing from the Inside Out: Cancer Education Goes 3D

Exam room touchscreens provide support education for oncologists and patients

September 12, 2016

CINCINNATI — Digital 3D anatomical modeling is a fast-growing segment of the virtual and augmented reality market (VR and AR, respectively). Already, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is studying 3D screening and diagnostic tools for cancer patients and studies reveal 3D imaging may also help diagnose heart disease more accurately than family history or a physical exam.

Today, the majority of 3D and VR/AR tools are reserved for physician diagnostics, training and surgery; few applications have been patient-focused at the point of care, which is why PatientPoint—the leading provider of point-of-care patient education—debuted PatientPoint Interact—Oncology, a 22-inch wall-mounted touchscreen device with 3D anatomicals.

Chris Martini, chief provider officer for PatientPoint, says the use of 3D modeling in patient education is an increasingly important field, especially for oncology, because it meets both the physician and patient's need for concise and easily visualized information.

"Discussions with oncologists can be highly emotional and overwhelming," he said. "3D technology makes the disease more understandable, which helps patients retain more important information about their condition."

Patients can take a virtual tour of the body, seeing every layer from any direction, to help guide them through their diagnosis. The 3D view inside the body enables meaningful discussions with physicians about staging, treatment options and how various therapies might impact the body, as well as resources available to them … all with a few taps of a finger in the privacy of the exam room. The goal? To provide useful information in an approachable manner and facilitate a partnership in treatment and care among patients, doctors, caregivers and nurses. Physicians have the ability to draw on the device using a stylus, outlining where the cancer is and where it could possibly spread and then email the image to the patient, caregiver or their staff.

Oncology patients spend upwards of 30 minutes waiting for physicians, and interactive devices like the PatientPoint model help them make good use of that time. PatientPoint Interact features lifestyle topics such as exercise, healthy eating and smoking cessation and even difficult topics such as end-of-life care. A team of medical writers provide the education resources, or they are licensed from credible third-party sources, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s patient information website,

PatientPoint is rapidly expanding the availability of PatientPoint Interact across the country for additional specialties, including primary care, gastroenterology, dermatology, rheumatology and cardiology. As of spring 2016, PatientPoint Interact has reached more than 215,000 users in 34 states.

"We've seen a shift in recent years toward patients educating themselves and taking a larger role in their treatment and care decisions," Martini explains. "Our goal is to offer the best and most accurate information to patients and caregivers to reduce the fear and frustration of navigating this space alone."

About PatientPoint

For more than 25 years, PatientPoint has been the trusted leader of patient and physician engagement solutions at the point of care. PatientPoint award-winning health information drives positive outcomes for patients, providers and sponsors. From primary care to specialty practices, from urgent care clinics to hospitals, PatientPoint has programs in more than 31,000 locations. More than 70,000 healthcare providers and 750 hospitals nationwide trust PatientPoint in their practices, impacting 113 million patients and creating nearly half a billion patient and caregiver exposures each year. Learn more at