New techniques could extend cancer patients’ life expectancy by 5 months

Two Scottish projects that won £100,000 funding from the Cancer Innovation Challenge earlier in 2018 are now looking at how to improve and extend cancer survival rates by five months.

Clinicians and patients in the new Cancer Innovation Challenge are planning to use common updates on real-time symptoms to inform decisions.

In Scotland they are looking forwards to having a strong medical team to test and develop new technology. The funding for this has been provided by the Prestigious Cancer Innovation Challenge where they were awarded £100,000 to progress the high tech for cancer research.

This simple yet effective technique discovered have shown to extend a cancer patient’s life expectancy up to five months, meaning there is more chance of doctors finding a treatment that works. This is achieved by them sharing their symptoms as they happen with a medical expert. This has been scientifically proven to improve treatment and increase survival rate. The two projects record so-called “Patient-Reported Outcome Measures” (PROMs) and “Patient-Reported Experience Measures (PREMs) and merge them with the NHS technology system. Allowing cancer patients to record symptoms such as pain, nausea or tiredness as they experience them gives doctors a more accurate understanding of what treatments work best and how they are responding to it.

This tool aims to create a better and more caring environment for cancer patients during treatment, potentially improving their life expectancy and also delivering long-term insights into the effectiveness of different treatments for clinicians.

Scotland’s chief medicine officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “Ensuring that the person receiving care is at the centre of medical decision making it 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.”

The two companies, OWise and PX HealthCare, have spent time and development into creating the best medical apps for patients with breast cancer. These new apps will include a specific notification which reminds and insists patients to contact the Cancer Treatment Helpline when noticing certain symptoms in a bid to address Scots’ reticence to “Be a bother”. The Owise importantly provides a tool which clinicians can use to evaluate and report patients’ real-time symptoms and outcomes. This will be able to integrate with TrakCare (a patient management system widely used throughout NHS Scotland). NHS Lothian and Px have joined ventures in creating a tool which is currently receiving patient feedback.

My Clinical Outcomes (MCO) is a web-platform used to collect and analyse data from patients with any cancer types and is being tested on haematological cancer patients at NHS Ayrshire and Arran. Patients’ conditions will be regularly recorded from answering frequent assessment questions about how their illness has impacted their lifestyle. Clinicians can immediately access this valuable new information about the effectiveness of treatment to inform ongoing clinical decisions. The resolution has been designed to comprise guidance from Macmillan Cancer support and is interoperable with Orion Healthcare another well-established clinical portal in Scotland.

Both these teams are looking at further developing their prototypes and further demonstrate their benefits and roll out potential in the space of six months.

Professor Andy Mount, chair, Strategic Management Board of Cancer Innovation Challenge, added: “The Board were impressed by the progress made by all five companies in Phase 1 of the PROMS PREMS call, especially when considering the tight budget and timescales.  We congratulate those successful companies in the Phase 2 competition and look forward to the development of their technologies, to address the opportunity of harnessing data to drive innovation in cancer treatment in Scotland.  We commiserate with those who were unsuccessful in this highly competitive call, and encourage them to engage through the Cancer Innovation Challenge’s project partners to explore progressing their technologies.”

The other projects involved phase one of the Cancer Innovation Challenge were:

‘Remote Patient Measures’

Docobo, Surrey

‘PROEMS – A flexible, future-proofed and integrated solution for PROM and PREM collection and use’

Openbrolly, Elgin

‘Digital platform for Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) cancer service in Scotland’

Sitekit Health, Isle of Skye

The aim of the Cancer Innovation Challenge is to create inspiration for the novel data and tech innovations and build a world leading Cancer care in Scotland. The funding from the Scottish funding Council was delivered by three Scottish innovation centres and was led by The Data Lab. Their strong support came from Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) and Stratified Medicine Scotland (SMS).

To find out more about the Cancer Innovation Challenge and its associated activities and funding opportunities, please


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