GE Healthcare Inc., which operates an office in Livonia, along with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals, today announced the organizations have agreed to collaborate on developing an application to improve cancer care.
As part of the arrangement, Cambridge will provide clinical expertise and data to support GE Healthcare’s development and evaluation of an AI-enhanced application that integrates cancer patient data from multiple sources into a single interface.
Building on research supported by The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK, the collaboration seeks to address the problems of fragmented or siloed data and disconnected patient information, which is challenging for clinicians to manage effectively and can prevent cancer patients receiving optimal treatment.
“Thanks to ever-improving technologies, we now generate increasing amounts of complex data for each patient with cancer,” says Professor Richard Gilbertson, director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre and head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge.
“These include multiple imaging scans, digital pathology, genomic data, advanced blood tests, and treatment information. Bringing all this data together to make precise and informed decisions for patients can be hard. We often do this inefficiently and miss important connections between the data.”
This new application would be designed using advanced software engineering and machine learning methods to integrate a variety of patient data including clinical, imaging, and genomic data — from diagnosis through every stage of treatment — into one single location.
The goal is to offer all medical teams involved in a patient’s cancer care — medical oncologists, clinical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, clinical nurse specialists, and more — simultaneous access to the necessary data and information to allow the medical team to plan the best, most personalized treatment for each of their patients.
The application is expected to be evaluated for ovarian cancer initially in Cambridge and the goal is to evaluate it across the UK, and beyond. Ovarian cancer is often difficult to treat as most patients are diagnosed with an advanced condition of the disease.
Although initially 70 percent to 80 percent of patients will respond well to chemotherapy, ultimately most develop chemotherapy resistance leading to treatment failure. The application may help clinicians have better visibility on how a patient responds to treatment, which will help them more effectively identify when a treatment may require adjustment. If the application is successfully developed, the vision of the program is to expand it for use in breast and kidney cancer patients.
“Health care professionals can struggle to easily find and interpret the many different types of patient data information they need to make the best clinical decisions,” says Dr. Ben Newton, general manager of oncology at GE Healthcare. “Bringing these multiple data streams into a single interface could enable clinicians to make fast, informed, and highly personalized treatment decisions throughout a patient’s cancer care pathway.”
Two Addenbrooke’s cancer clinicians seeking to evaluate the application to help patients are consultant oncologist Professor James Brenton, professor of Ovarian Cancer Medicine and a senior group leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; and consultant radiologist Professor Evis Sala, professor of Oncological Imaging, University of Cambridge.
“Aggregating and analyzing the substantial amounts of data available would help address an unmet need,” says Brenton, who co-leads the Mark Foundation Institute for Integrated Cancer Medicine (MFICM) at the University of Cambridge. “Ovarian cancer is an important and complex disease with poor outcomes, and we believe this application would help us deal with its complexity. Eventually, we hope to be able to better understand the disease and therefore improve treatment and outcomes for patients.”
The development work will be underpinned by GE Healthcare’s Edison platform to integrate data from diverse sources, such as electronic health records (EHR) and radiology information systems (RIS), imaging, and other medical device data.
“If we can aggregate and integrate relevant data along the care pathway, and visualize the output, it may ultimately lead to clinicians making better-informed decisions and better care.” adds Sala, who also co-leads the MFICM at the University of Cambridge.
“The team aims to transform the delivery of cancer patient care by integrating multiple data streams together into a single platform that can be accessed simultaneously by clinicians, patients, and multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) from tertiary and regional hospitals.”
GE Healthcare is a $17-billion health care business of GE. A leading global medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and digital solutions innovator, GE Healthcare develops intelligent devices, data analytics, applications, and services supported by its Edison intelligence platform.
For more information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, visit www.cancerresearchuk.org.