Cancer Center Loans Laptops to Low-Income African-American Women with Breast Cancer
The Karmanos Cancer Institute of Detroit in June launched a "pioneering" program that loans laptop computers with Internet access to low-income, African-American breast cancer patients in the Detroit area, the Detroit News reports. The Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System, which "aims at bridging a digital divide that separates poor patients from those with more resources," provides the laptops and free Web access to up to 70 women at a time for four months. Fewer than a dozen women currently participate in the $200,000-per-year program, the only one of its kind for black women. With backing from the National Cancer Institute through September 2003, researchers hope the access to online sources helps patients "make better treatment decisions, improve relations with their doctors and replace bad habits or diets with more healthful behavior," in addition to lowering "[m]edical costs and time spent at doctors' offices." Karmanos researchers track the sites patients access and "hope to learn if access to information through technology improves the progress of low-income minority cancer patients" (Bauza, Detroit News, 7/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.