AI-driven database to collect patient-reported breast cancer outcomes
January 29, 2024
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare data is undeniably transformative. It’s revolutionizing how we collect, process, and leverage data, particularly when understanding patient experiences alongside real-world outcomes.
AI has transitioned from an experimental technology to now an essential part of patient-reported outcomes. Today, AI and its impact is only set to grow.
As the CEO of Breast Cancer Canada, I have had the privilege of witnessing the resilience of countless Canadian breast cancer patients. Each person’s journey is unique, and each of their voices holds merit, highlighting opportunities for improvement. At Breast Cancer Canada, we are committed to placing patients at the forefront of research, knowing that lived experiences should inform the future care of Canadians diagnosed with breast cancer.
With the introduction of AI into research, the patient voice and experience becomes more accessible.
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are validated tools that provide a comprehensive picture of how cancer and treatment impact health status and quality of life from the patient’s perspective. For example, Cancer Care Ontario continues to implement ‘Your Symptoms Matter’ across the province, allowing patients to communicate how they are feeling with their care team at their clinic visits.
Countless clinical trials have shown that collecting Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) can improve outcomes among oncology patients. However, there remains uncertainty on a larger, national scale about how to best collect and use the data findings in routine clinical care and updates in health policy.
In Canada, we have seen some efforts made to move healthcare towards patient-centered care, which values the inclusion of patient perspectives when looking at the quality of their care. Together, we must recognize the value that lived experience can provide in directing and achieving high-quality and effective healthcare.
Although the Canadian healthcare system is moving patient-centered care forward, using PROs in clinical care and at the system level is inconsistent. Currently, no standardized mechanisms exist to integrate, measure and monitor the patient experience across Canada.
Research has shown us that there are over 50 types of breast cancer, each with their own unique challenges and demands. AI can transform how we can better utilize PROs data and address those needs by providing invaluable insights into the experiences of a breast cancer diagnosis.
One breast cancer journey is powerful but imagine the impact of thousands coming together across the country in one place, powered by AI. PROgress Tracker Breast Cancer Registry (PROgressTracker.ca ) is a national patient-reported outcomes (PROs) database set to marry the patient’s voice with cutting-edge AI technology.
Launched by Breast Cancer Canada in October 2023, PROgress Tracker represents Canada’s first national patient-reported outcomes breast cancer registry.
Validated real-world data and AI analytics from PROgress Tracker study will aid evidence-based decision-making to improve breast cancer management and the development of patient resources, guide future research directions and explore the utility of electronic PROs data capture.
Data can be segmented within a diverse patient population, something that is often not captured in traditional clinical research settings. PROgress Tracker study is also planning (with patient consent) future linkages to the outcome and healthcare utilization metrics via provincial health data.
Over a 10-year period, the data analysis will culminate to improve our current knowledge, allowing comparison across Canadian jurisdictions and longitudinal follow-up of patients prior to, during, and after cancer care.
It is AI-driven capabilities used in the PROgress Tracker Breast Cancer Registry that will set the stage for identifying gaps in care, benchmarking and risk adjustment while improving the well-being of individuals during treatment and in the years that follow.
By integrating AI into PROgress Tracker study, for example, Breast Cancer Canada is elevating the analysis of the physical, emotional and financial journey through breast cancer – from diagnosis to surgery – through treatment and into remission or advanced disease.
The data can be analyzed through AI for the first time as a longitudinal cohort focusing on location, ethnicity, age, breast cancer pathology characteristics, stage, and treatment history.
Mapping individual and clustered experiences over time has the potential to provide new insights into trajectories, offering earlier identification of survivorship health issues, patient risk stratification, more effective clinical intervention, and improved patient outcomes.
The power of AI in healthcare is undeniable, and it can be used to pinpoint the best path forward for patients.
I believe in a future where patient experiences are not just acknowledged, but form a cornerstone for clinical research, health policy, and accessible care standards. AI is amplifying the voices of Canadian patients to advance the breast cancer care landscape.