Online tool for cancer patients goes national
My Clinical Outcomes (MCO), an award winning online platform which uses data to improve the quality of life of cancer patients, 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.
Enabling patients to record their symptoms in real time from the ease of their homes, without having to speak directly with a doctor, the innovative tool, which is funded by the Cancer Innovation Challenge, aims to potentially 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 started as a trial through the Cancer Innovation Challenge in 2017, and is now in routine long term use supporting the care of chemotherapy patients at University Hospital Crosshouse and Ayr Hospital.
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.
“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.”