While there are major advancements happening in many healthcare sectors, oncology continues to evolve at a fantastic rate. We are seeing a total transformation of the information available to physicians and their teams as well as the ways patients interact with their doctors. As a result, the overall patient experience and the techniques and effectiveness of the services healthcare providers deliver have advanced significantly in recent years.
Following are three interesting ways in which your fellow members in the healthcare and oncology communities are finding new and better ways to take care of patients:
- Free Cancer Screenings
Supporting early detection, free screening programs are proliferating due to their ability to identify more cancers earlier to better serve patients and the community. And, while offering free screening may deliver net losses for providers early on, studies on lung cancer for example, suggest margin per case crosses over to positive revenue within a short time period thanks to increased surgical intervention for operable cancers and follow-ups possible following the free screenings – such as referrals and introduction to new patients needing other healthcare services.
By allowing facilities to track and follow up with screened patients more efficiently, the HealthMyne Platform helps providers increase both the quality of care and the financial viability of free screening programs.
- Complementary methods to Lung-RADS
In addition, emerging technology is fueling development of new risk calculators that may improve upon Lung-RADS for lung cancer screening. For example, a recent study showed that the Vancouver Risk Calculator (VRC) had significantly higher sensitivity than Lung-RADS. VRC’s sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy also were higher on a per patient basis. While the research team stopped short of recommending providers replace Lung-RADS with VRC, they did suggest considering VRC as a second and complementary method.
What can providers do to take advantage of potentially more effective screening methods? Stay open and flexible to emerging options. The HealthMyne Platform calculates Lung-RADS automatically, and also includes a customizable nodule-risk calculator to which alternatives like VRC could easily be added.
- Combining clinical information and radiomics
Finally, consulting predictive models that use radiomics in combination with clinical information are an encouraging development, sparked by emerging digital technology. One study, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology,outlines how radiomic features extracted from CT scans can help predict which ground glass nodule (GGN) cases require surgery and may reduce overtreatment of the condition. The study found that combining clinical information and the radiomics nomogram achieved the best predictive ability and calibration.
What’s critical to this new development is an ability to inform clinicians immediately of matches, potentially saving patients from the danger, pain and expense of unnecessary procedures. HealthMyne’s Quantitative Imaging Decision Support (QIDS) Platform is the only commercially available system that can do this, extracting radiomic features from CT scans within the standard clinical workflow.
Emerging technology has exciting potential to improve cancer detection and treatment. As cancer treatment continually evolves, HealthMyne’s mission is to stay ahead of the curve, helping radiologists and physicians maximize their ability to act on better information to provide better outcomes. For more information, contact us.