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Patient Care Platform Targets National Roll-out After Successful Trials

David Paul

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patient care

The innovative platform, which enhances acute care of cancer patients, successfully completed five pilot projects in Scotland.

My Clinical Outcomes (MCO), an online platform that uses data to improve patient care, is targeting a national roll-out following the success of five pilot projects across Scotland’s health boards.

The technology analyses side effects and symptoms experienced by patients throughout the diagnosis, treatment and long-term care phases – providing clinicians with an accurate understanding of their condition and how they are responding to treatment. The tool enables patients to record their symptoms in real time from the ease of their homes, without having to speak directly with a doctor.

Funded by the Cancer Innovation Challenge, the project aims to improve cancer patients’ life expectancy, whilst delivering longer-term insights into the effectiveness of different treatments.

Chief Operating Officer at MCO, Sally Damms, said: “More than 60,000 patients and over 1,000 clinicians across the UK are successfully using the platform to support a range of medical conditions, with the innovative solution recently recognised at Scotland’s Digital Health & Care Awards 2020, for the enhanced safety and long-term monitoring that it provides to all patients.

“Due to the sheer volume of patients seen every year, hospitals tend to only track process-driven outcomes that are easier to measure, such as waiting times, length of stay and avoidable complications. While, these are important, they don’t capture the impact of disease on patients’ lives, and the success or otherwise of treatment, particularly as these measurements tend to end when patients leave the hospital.”

Damms added: “From the patient perspective, it can also take a huge amount of effort to arrange regular calls or appointments with a specialist, particularly if they’re unwell following treatment, meaning symptoms sometimes go unreported. By providing a user-friendly, web-based platform, patients are more likely to accurately record how they are feeling – information that can be used by clinicians to inform and improve their treatment and quality of life.”

To date, the platform has successfully collected and analysed data from patients with haematological cancer at NHS Ayrshire and Arran. This project, which started as a trial through the Cancer Innovation Challenge in 2017, is now in routine long-term use supporting the care of chemotherapy patients at University Hospital Crosshouse and Ayr Hospital – with many patients positively benefiting.

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Three additional phases, focused on breast, lung, bladder, prostate and gynaecological cancers, are up and running across the country at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the South and East Scotland Cancer Network, with the final phase – the National Digital Platform – aimed at putting steps in place to deploy the platform across all Scottish health boards.

Steph Wright, Director of Health & Wellbeing Engagement at The Data Lab, said: “Those who have experienced cancer first-hand as a patient, carer or friend, know there can be side effects following treatment, from physical pain to ongoing feelings of anxiety and depression and while these symptoms alone might not warrant a call to the GP, they do negatively impact a patient’s experience of cancer.

“By taking a patient-led approach to symptom tracking, health practitioners are given a clearer picture of the ways in which treatment impacts individuals, providing an opportunity to tailor care and to improve quality of life.”

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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