Meeting the goals of NHS England’s Rapid Diagnostic Centres for cancer

Aug 5, 2020 | Cancer Diagnosis, Healthcare

YouDiagnose is a one-stop-shop service for fast, early, accurate cancer diagnosis. The AI-powered solution encompasses patient engagement, risk assessment and management, intelligent triage and workflow automation, clinician-patient consultation, management of care pathways and patient communication and education. How far does it go toward meeting the vision and goals of NHS England’s Rapid Diagnostic Centres for cancer?

What is a Rapid Diagnostic Centre for cancer?

NHS England’s Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC) is a cancer diagnosis service model that provides:

  1. A single point of access to a diagnostic pathway for all patients with symptoms that could indicate cancer
  2. A personalised, accurate and timely diagnosis of patients’ symptoms by integrating existing diagnostic provision and utilising networked expertise and information locally

Why are RDC’s important to cancer care?

The RDC service model has evolved from a partnership –- between Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS England whose joint aim is to improve the survivability of cancer. This is manifested in the Accelerate Coordinate Evaluate (ACE) programme. Using data from service model pilots, RDCs are the latest iteration of this partnership. The intention is to continually improve care pathways that deliver earlier, faster cancer diagnosis and more efficient cancer diagnostic pathways.

The YouDiagnose cancer diagnosis journey – in brief

Using YouDiagnose AI to (i) quickly and easily collect comprehensive information on an individual patient’s symptoms eliminating health inequalities (ii) generate a risk profile for that patient eliminating (iii) prioritise and triage patients (iv) automate referral workflow and reduce documentation burden (v) support clinician decision making during the consultation and finally (vi) personalise patient education and support

So, how does YouDiagnose contribute to the goals of an RDC?

Earlier and faster cancer diagnosis

Diagnosis waiting times are reduced from weeks to one or two days with AI-powered cancer diagnosis based upon large cancer-specific data sets proving to be more than 85-90% accurate.

A better diagnostic experience for patients

Patients referred to the service complete a comprehensive online questionnaire, at the time and place of their convenience, without the need for another visit to the GP. Reduced waiting time and accurate diagnosis reduces the anxiety of a long wait for diagnosis. Thereafter, based upon the diagnosis, personalised education and support can improve patients’ feeling of well being and self-care.

Increased capacity through more efficient diagnostic pathways

Intelligent triage supports clinicians to quickly, easily prioritise patients based upon data-led risk assessment. Low risk patients are diverted to community resources whilst higher risk patients are accelerated through the appropriate cancer diagnosis pathways increasing the pace and scale of cancer diagnosis.

Reduce unwarranted variation

Enabling patients/caregivers to complete an online, comprehensive questionnaire about their symptoms and circumstances can reduce the inequality that may arise from patients living in rural/remote locations or those with limited time to attend a clinic appointment due to pressures of work/childcare etc. Thereafter, AI-powered multi-variate risk analysis using cancer diagnosis specific datasets enables clinicians to calculate the risk in a specific patient and refer the patient appropriately and quickly onward.

Improve the service offer to staff

Pre-engagement of the patient with a comprehensive online questionnaire and a comprehensive risk assessment ahead of the consultation enables clinicians to focus on making an accurate diagnosis and on the patient:clinician relationship versus time-consuming, repetitive questioning. Intelligent triage and automated workflow reduce clinician administration time by 80%. The pressure of workload and patient backlogs are relieved and clinician work-life balance can improve. During the consultation, AI-powered clinician decision support utilises technology to innovative ways of working.

To find out more about how YouDiagnose meets the RDC objectives see

Authors Sarah Fisher , Dr Aswini Misro