Published in Insights HIMSS Europe, The IT Journal for Healthcare Leaders
Managing the complexity of data in decision-making increasingly becomes a challenge for healthcare professionals and support is needed with clinical treatment and research decisions through data-driven analytics and insights. A recently launched decision support software offered by Roche Diagnostics helps physicians navigate the increasing amounts of data. Ultimate beneficiaries are cancer patients.
Oncology care is undergoing a major transformation. Thanks to therapeutic successes, cancer is slowly becoming a chronic disease, albeit a highly complex one. Multidisciplinary teams of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and molecular biologists decide on combination therapies or multimodal treatment strategies that are tailored to individual patients and individual tumours. These therapeutic strategies need to be adjusted continuously along the patient journey, especially given that oncology research has shown that tumours consist of the proliferation of malignant cell that behave differently in different stages of the disease.
Decision support for clinicians in complex environments
The complexity of oncology means that every individual therapeutic decision is highly dependent on data from various sources, be it the electronic medical record, the picture archiving system, the pathology or laboratory system, “omics”-platforms of all kinds or various international research databases. For clinicians, this complexity is becoming increasingly difficult to handle, said Professor Okan Ekinci, Chief Medical Officer of Roche Diagnostics Information Solutions (DIS). “Clinicians are asking us to enable them to better utilise data in order to make the right therapeutic decision at the right moment.”
As a company that has the combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof, with considerable knowledge in the field of oncology, Roche has expanded into the field of digital decision support, developing strong partnerships with companies like Accenture and the imaging specialist GE Healthcare, among others, to bring the vision to life. “Our strategic goal is to combine all this knowledge that we have to provide tailored decision support tools to the benefit of our customers and patients,” explained Raj Harapanahalli, Head of Software Center of Excellence at Roche DIS.
First use case tumour board
During the session ‘Personalised healthcare: Leveraging data to improve patient care through clinical decision support’ at the HIMSS Europe 18 conference in Sitges, Spain, the new digital decision support portfolio of products was introduced under the NAVIFY™ brand name. The first product, The NAVIFY™ Tumor Board solution is a workflow tool for interdisciplinary tumour boards and is now available in the following selected European markets: Sweden, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, as well as in the US. According to Prof Ekinci, this is only the first step: “In the longer run, we are planning to go beyond oncology. With GE Healthcare, we are planning to explore other complex disease areas.”
Decision support software for tumour boards was chosen as the first use case, because of the need for faster, more accurate and more targeted decision making tools which are particularly crucial in this area: “For tumour boards today, it takes typically two to three hours to prepare each case,” said Clemens Janus, Head of Customer Success EMEA at Roche DIS. Given how time consuming the process currently is, and the fact that many patient cases must be revisited several times along their patient journey, Janus sees huge potential for an integrated technology platform that streamlines these processes.