Health Technologies

Cancer Research UK roadmap focuses on tech innovation, data streams, digital twins and proactive measures – htn

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has published a new roadmap for the early detection and diagnosis of cancer, identifying major challenges and proposals for addressing them through new technologies, enhanced data access for research, and new models of healthcare.

The roadmap aims to develop a shared vision for stakeholders across academia, industry, regulators, patients, and health professionals, for the future of early detection and diagnosis, and to define actions for collaboration in key areas.

One of the central themes for the roadmap focuses on tackling “current uncertainty” on identifying who is most as-risk, and the chances of progression amongst detected cases of cancer or pre-cancer. On this basis, the roadmap sets out recommendations including the development of technologies capable of detecting and prognosing early cancers, and the use of NHS patient touch-points as a platform for risk stratification and early detection research.

Another theme for the roadmap is on biomedical data science and systems, looking at current barriers to data access and the “lack of data science and platforms for integration of bimolecular data with personal/health system population data”. Proposed actions include using e-health records and AI or machine learning methods for early cancer risk assessment, generating “novel AI risk stratification technologies” for use with the “asymptomatic public” with data streams such as health records and family history to prioritise individuals at high risk for screening, and the development of wearables and other tech for real-time monitoring and risk management.

Other recommended actions include incentivising and supporting the development and commercialisation of early detection and diagnosis by establishing a Health Innovation Incubator and creating a platform for validation of new diagnostics in cancer referral pathways in hospitals. The roadmap also recommends promoting healthcare system innovation and adoption by creating a national body to map and conduct evidence assessments of the product pipeline, and generating cancer-specific delivery roadmaps to address “the duplication, fragmentation and limited impact caused by poor linkage of the ED&D ecosystem”.

Linking in with recommendations around the proactive management of individual health, the roadmap also proposes the use of a “digital health twin”, or “a lifelong, personalised digital model mirroring an individual’s health history”, which could be updated for things like risks, symptoms, diagnostic tests, and so on. Referring to this as “a long-term, visionary pan-disease approach to proactive health management”, the roadmap suggests the need for considerations of data anonymisation and security, as well as a better understanding of big data for early detection and diagnosis.

Aside from recommended actions, the roadmap sets out a series of policy recommendations for early detection and diagnosis, such as making early detection and diagnosis a “central tenet” of the UK’s wider R&D roadmap; addressing “market failure” in the commercialisation and adoption of technologies; investing in workforce, equipment and infrastructure to support the early detection and diagnosis agenda; and boosting investment “to accelerate robust collection, interoperability and access to patient data” for research in this space.

To read the roadmap in full, please click here.

In related news, NHS England has published its latest Cancer Programme progress update for Spring 2024, highlighting innovations and new technologies in areas of work across early diagnosis, treatment and personalised care, and performance.

Elsewhere, Barts Health NHS Trust has shared the results of a teledermatology pilot which has led to around 94 percent of people with suspected skin cancer being seen within two weeks at Whipps Cross Hospital, an increase from an average of 62 percent in 2022.



About Author

You may also like

Health Technologies

Accelerating Strategies Around Internet of Medical Things Devices

  • December 22, 2022
IoMT Device Integration with the Electronic Health Record Is Growing By their nature, IoMT devices are integrated into healthcare organizations’
Health Technologies

3 Health Tech Trends to Watch in 2023

Highmark Health also uses network access control technology to ensure computers are registered and allowed to join the network. The