Sharing cancer patient symptoms as they happen has been proven to improve treatment options and increase survival rate by up to five months. With that in mind, the winning projects in the Cancer Innovation Challenge aim to develop the new technology and platforms needed to facilitate this real-time sharing process.
As both progress to the second phase of the challenge, they now have six months to use the newly awarded funding to develop their prototypes and further demonstrate their benefits and roll-out potential.
The tools are intended to enhance cancer patients’ experiences during treatment, potentially improve their life expectancy and deliver longer-term insights into the effectiveness of different treatments.
Using Data to Drive Innovation
Both projects record data on ‘Patient-Reported Outcome Measures’ and ‘Patient-Reported Experience Measures’ and integrate it with NHS technology systems.
By having cancer sufferers recording symptoms such as pain, nausea or tiredness as they experience them doctors can develop a more accurate understanding of the patient’s condition and assess how they are responding to treatment.
Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “Ensuring that the person receiving care is at the centre of medical decision making is crucial.”
“Getting accurate information from patients about their symptoms at the time they are experiencing them is core to this. This is particularly pertinent for people with cancer. How they feel really matters.”
“Patient-reported outcomes, using innovative tools such as these, will enable doctors to weigh-up risks and benefits of individuals’ treatments. It takes the pressure off the patient having to remember how they felt a week or two ago when they are coming in for their next appointment.”
“Using such tools has the potential to enhance the quality of life for patients while they are going through treatment. Ultimately it is about improving services, treatments and outcomes for people with cancer.”
OWise App to Improve Breast Cancer Treatment
Developed by Px HealthCare this app is specifically designed for breast cancer patients. In a bid to address Scots’ reticence to ‘be a bother,’ the app will provide patients with a nudge notification to get them to contact the Cancer Treatment Helpline in reaction to certain symptoms.
The app will be able to be integrated with TrakCare, a patient management system widely used throughout NHS Scotland. Px HealthCare is currently developing the tool in partnership with NHS Lothian and has had patient feedback via engagement with Maggie’s.
MCO Platform to Help Inform Decisions
My Clinical Outcomes (MCO) is a web-platform used to collect and analyse variation in patient-reported outcomes. The platform has been tailored for patients in Scotland with any type of cancer, and will be piloted with haematological cancer patients at NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
Using MCO, patients will answer regular assessments and track the impact of their condition on their life through a personal dashboard. The solution has been designed to include guidance from Macmillan Cancer Support and is inter-operable with Orion Healthcare, another well-established clinical portal in Scotland.