Data firm aims to transform lives of Scottish cancer patients with online tool

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An online platform which uses data to improve the quality of life of cancer patients is hoping for a national roll-out following its pilot success.

My Clinical Outcomes (MCO) was introduced in five projects across Scotland’s health boards, enabling patients to record their symptoms from home without needing to see a doctor.

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 scheme aims to improve cancer patients’ life expectancy, whilst delivering longer-term insights into the effectiveness of different treatments.

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.

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.

Sally Damms, Chief Operating Officer at My Clinical Outcomes (MCO), said: “Nationally, 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.

“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.”