As coronavirus COVID-19, has brought countries worldwide under lockdown, we are yet to envisage its forthcoming impact on our health care services. We can see the tip of the iceberg in the UK as NHS England has told doctors to prepare for a ‘disruption of services’ in cancer care over the next few weeks due to staff sickness and shortages of resources. Cancer services have been advised to manage the patients as per the level of priorit
The pace of cancer diagnosis and treatment, which is slightly slower in the UK compared to North America or mainland Europe, is likely to be delayed further as the hospitals scramble to reprioritize their workforce to deal with the coronavirus emergency.
Disease overlap and the lack of triage automation
In terms of those most at risk, it is interesting to note that there is an age-group overlap between both diseases. Whilst those over the age of 50 are more likely to develop cancer, they are also more susceptible to coronavirus infection and consequent morbidities.
- Coronavirus fatality rate jumps from 0.4% to 1.3% when the age of the patient crosses the mark of 50 years. The risk of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), multi-organ failure and death increases dramatically in patients who are in their 7th decade or above.
- The median age for cancer development is about 62 years in the United States of America. Median age at diagnosis is 61 years for breast cancer, 68 years for colorectal cancer, 70 years for lung cancer, and 66 years for prostate cancer.
In addition, the lack of a system for cancer referral prioritisation is likely to (a) have an increased load of unnecessary referrals on the health system, and, (b) is potentially putting people’s lives at risk by needlessly placing them in a situation where they may contract coronavirus.
YouDiagnose uses machine learning and AI to find a solution
Team YouDiagnose, are addressing these issues head-on in their support for the battle against COVID-19. They are fast-tracking the development of a solution for cancer referral triage which will help the UK NHS to direct its services and resources to patients in need. This will also ensure the risk of coronavirus spread due to inappropriate or non-urgent referrals is addressed – no unnecessary travel, human contact – supporting the need for social distancing and self-isolation for the most vulnerable.
Talking with Dr Aswini Misro of YouDiagnose, he believes that the heart of an integrated solution should lie in how we can identify the patients who are at risk of both cancer and coronavirus morbidities at the same time. The solution should furnish the care provider with the information they need, at their fingertips, to enable them to make a balanced decision on cancer risk versus the inherent risk of contracting coronavirus and its subsequent implications during a hospital visit.
A threefold solution.
- Fast-tracking the development of a machine learning application suite and integrating with real-world evidence to identify those at risk of developing cancer and coronavirus
- Making this part of full workflow automation through the patient/doctor pathway to bring greater time efficiency and accuracy to the medical services provided.
- Augmented front-line decision making by a joint model of man and machine
This means that those who are at risk of cancer are managed expeditiously whilst those non-urgent cases can be dealt with routinely or in the community. YouDiagnose feel the fight against coronavirus will be more successful if the need for social distancing and self-isolation practices can be augmented without compromising cancer-care, and without diverting scarce healthcare resource for non-urgent cases.
This is the first article focused on this issue, more will follow as the product and solutions evolve.
Team YouDiagnose, is a passionate team of professionals including eminent clinicians (from Top London Hospitals), software professionals, data scientists, project management consultants, leadership consultants and host of other professionals, who have joined hands and embarked on a journey with a common goal of reducing the cancer mortality worldwide by early diagnosis of cancer and widespread awareness. Team YouDiagnose is working diligently to deploy the futuristic technologists such as artificial intelligence and machine learning into clinical diagnosis and management in cancer care.
Dr Aswini Misro
Dr Aswini Misro is a surgeon, futurist, medical innovator, author and clinical researcher. He is the Founder of YouDiagnose, which is heralding the next wave of disruption through its AI-enabled CancerCare and AI-Assisted GP Consult solutions. He has been a part of many artificial intelligence and telemedicine projects in pursuit of this vision and is currently working to reduce global disparity in cancer care. He is currently authoring a book titled, “Your Future Doctor May Not Be A Human Being!”.
Tracey spent over 20 years in the global technology industry, creating global consulting businesses for companies such as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise with a focus on transformation services, with both proven and emerging technologies. Working with some of the largest companies in the world, in most countries in the world, as well as smaller enterprises, understanding their business needs, risk concerns and success inhibitors for implementation of technology transformation projects.
In 2018 Tracey founded Portable Kingdom Limited in order to focus on supporting traditional businesses with AI adoption (including board advisory) and start-ups with global AI product go-to-market (including product strategy, product management, product liability and IP protection). With a focus on Health (plus Social Care and Wellbeing) and Retail.
Tracey has specific expertise in legal-ethical-strategy impacts, combo-tech solutions (AI, AR/VR, robotics, blockchain), corporate governance frameworks, organisational structures, processes and technology standardisation.
Tracey is a member of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for AI (APPG AI).