Published online Jan 16, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i2.291
Peer-review started: April 10, 2020
First decision: November 20, 2020
Revised: November 22, 2020
Accepted: December 6, 2020
Article in press: December 6, 2020
Published online: January 16, 2021
A novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) first detected in Wuhan, China, has spread rapidly since December 2019, causing more than 1.4 million confirmed infections and 15000 fatalities (as of April 9, 2020). The outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. Isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and community containment measures were rapidly implemented in China, which helped in containing the disease. However, other low- and middle-income countries lack such extensive infrastructural capacities and resources. Cancer patients are particularly at high risk of infection and mortality due to immunosuppression. Hence self-quarantine is recommended for them. Additionally, it is becoming impossible to maintain the continuity of care when cancer patients have to avoid physical visits. Social media applications, e.g., Facebook and WhatsApp, can provide educational group program and psychosocial support to these patients while maintain social distancing. We have analyzed their use in this review article and how it could change the follow-up of cancer patients during this pandemic.
Core Tip: Social media is an effective modality in remote monitoring of cancer patients. While using social media, platforms that have end-to-end encryption (e.g., WhatsApp) should be preferred over open platforms (e.g., Facebook). It is recommended to use a single smart phone that should have multiple security mechanisms so that only the clinician can open the social media platform. It is always a good practice to transfer the patient data to a secure hard drive on a regular basis and then delete it from the smart phone.