Cievert have been awarded a grant by Innovate UK, a government innovation agency, for a 12-month project set to revolutionise how radiotherapy patients are managed whilst receiving treatment. The product will be a solution that also collects and anonymises patient data, which gives it huge potential for use in Artificial Intelligence. The outcome would help personalise healthcare, thus improving clinical outcomes whilst reducing costs.
The project is funded through Innovate UK’s ‘Digital Health Technology Catalyst 2017’ programme, and the project official title is ‘Developing Artificial Intelligence to revolutionise how radiotherapy patients are managed whilst receiving treatment’.
The project description is as follows:
“Cievert is a digital health SME specialising in designing and implementing innovative software in the health sector. Established in 2011 by a former NHS radiographer, Cievert software can now be found in 20% of all NHS cancer centres.
In England alone, there are 100million NHS outpatient appointments every year\*. These cost an estimated £10billion, require significant clinical input and infrastructure, can often be a source of anxiety for patients, and a significant proportion (approx. 20%) of these appointments are not attended. With a growing elderly population and more people living with a long-term condition, the demand for outpatient appointments is predicted to grow. This growth will add to the demand of already-stretched, finite clinical resources.
A large number of outpatient appointments are used for routine follow-up. Clinicians would rather see patients when they need to be seen, not on the arbitrary time-based schedule currently used. Assessing patients remotely using Artificial Intelligence (AI) would free up clinicians’ time and allow them to concentrate on patients that really do require face-to-face follow-up.
We aim to automate out-patient follow-up using AI, making it more efficient and effective.
This project will focus on cancer outpatient appointments, specifically patients receiving radiotherapy, of which there are approximately 140,000 per year in the UK. We will develop software to replace the routine clinical follow-up appointment with a view to better identifying those patients in need of clinical intervention. This will result in patients with a clinical need being assessed more quickly and enable them to be seen by an appropriate clinical team member, sooner. This will free up precious clinical staff and resources, reduce costs, reduce waiting times, and radically change how routine outpatient follow-up care is delivered.
Whilst AI is rapidly developing in the field of diagnostics, there is little work being done in using this technology during a course of treatment, such as radiotherapy, post-diagnosis and follow-up.
This project will result in a commercially ready solution that will put an end to time-based routine follow-up and will be replaced by a proactive system based on clinical need.”