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A digital guardian angel enhancing cancer patient’s wellbeing and health status improvement following treatment.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ONCORELIEF (A digital guardian angel enhancing cancer patient’s wellbeing and health status improvement following treatment.)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-06-30

In a situation where the number of cancer patients is predicted to increase but resources available for treatment and care are not expected to grow, digital solutions such as PROMs and PREMs that have the potential to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of care are welcomed by many healthcare professionals. Understanding the patient experience is particularly important within cancer care, as cancer patients go through substantial physical, mental and social consequences of both the disease itself and its treatment. Despite time spent in hospital during active cancer care, much of the treatment side effects and treatment-related symptom burden occur outside the hospital.
In this context, PROMs and PREMs provide a patient-focused, clinically relevant, and reliable perspective on the patient symptom experience. The scientific evidence supporting the use of PROMs and PREMs both on an individual and a population level is ever increasing, and has revealed a variety of benefits for patients and health care professionals. Importantly, using PROMs and PREMs in everyday practice can improve clinicians’ understanding of the effect of disease and treatment on patients’ daily lives, and has the potential to narrow the gap between clinical reality and the patient world.
Thus, a huge unprecedented opportunity is formed to create intelligent healthcare-patient services and tools to manage the health status and wellbeing of cancer patients at all levels. This is true, especially when considering the following key driving factors: (1) Improved cancer survival rate; (2) Proliferation of smartphones; (3) Increased importance of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), (4) Huge volumes of data from clinical, administrative, imaging and omics sources (5) Incoming flood of electronic patient reported outcome and experience measures (ePRO), patient internet activities, sensors and monitoring data and (6) Rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data analytics.

ONCORELIEF is a 3-year action that will leverage, but also skilfully and methodologically overcome technical challenges related to, the above 6 drivers. New approaches will be developed that will allow the utilization of big datasets in order to develop a user-centred AI system, facilitating the integration of quality of life assessment instruments through the use of PROMs and PREMs, with the objective to improve post-treatment health status, wellbeing, and follow-up care of cancer patients in order to meet their needs. This will be achieved through an intuitive smart digital assistant (Guardian Angel), able to utilize big data analytics to provide personalized support in post-treatment activities and tasks, suggest actions regarding the patients’ overall health-status, improved QoL and WB and active health-care and ultimately maintain him/her engaged on a wellness journey that will safeguard his/her health over the foreseeable prolonged post-cancer treatment period. To achieve this, ONCORELIEF builds on the combined knowhow of its interdisciplinary industry-driven consortium that brings together state-of-the-art technological skills, design thinking methodology and occupational psychology/health sciences.
The ONCORELIEF vision is realized through a multi- and trans-disciplinary user-centric approach with concrete technical and scientific objectives (O) and builds upon the following five pillars:
Pillar 1: Analysis of clinical settings, treatment parameters and environment dynamics and driving forces of cancer patient wellbeing
Pillar 2: Exploiting Big Data and AI capabilities for holistic post-treatment insights generation
Pillar 3: Development of innovative technological elements for providing personalized wellbeing
Pillar 4: Piloting in different cancer types and patient-environment settings
Pillar 5: Active engagement of stakeholders resulting to measurable impacts
Since the beginning of the project, and during the 1st reporting period (M1-M18), the consortium identified the users of the ONCORELIEF system as post-treatment cancer patients, their carers, and healthcare professionals supporting patients. User requirements for each one of this categories were elicited, based on a participatory approach, including questionnaires, interviews, and literature review. These requirements were continuously updated through an evolutionary approach so as to cover aspects not initially envisaged. Furthermore, socio-economic, gender, and other aspects affecting post-treatment cancer patients were considered during this stage of the project. Based on the user requirements, the consortium defined the system architecture, comprising the ONCORELIEF backend platform, the Guardian Angel mobile application, and the ONCORELIEF wearable. At the same time, the data processing and data analytics components of ONCORELIEF were defined. This effort culminated in the development of the 1st ONCORELIEF prototype, that will support the first phases of the clinical studies. As data are gathered and processed, the 2nd ONCORELIEF prototype will be developed.
ONCORELIEF extends the state-of-the-art in big data analytics for improving cancer patients' everyday life and health status, by bringing together big data from a wide range of sources with data produced by wearable sensors. This allows for an unprecedented level of personalised information to become available to patients, accessible through the Guardian Angel mobile application. On another front, ONCORELIEF will advance the state of the art in mHealth applications for cancer treatment by: i) Placing data privacy and security in the forefront. Extra attention will be paid in the anonymisation of user data. Furthermore, privacy-sensitive algorithms will be executed locally on the user’s mobile phone. Only with explicit consent from the user will his/her data be sent to the ONCORELIEF back-end servers for further processing. ii) Exploiting data created by a wide range of compatible sensors. Apart from the wearables developed in the framework of the ONCORELIEF project, the developed system will be designed to be compatible with products from all major wearable companies. This will ensure that a breadth of data will be available for processing and extraction of insights. iii) Only with explicit consent from the user will his/her data be sent to the ONCORELIEF back-end servers for further processing. Proper anonymisation practices will be employed to remove any kind of identity-specific information from data. Last but not least, ONCORELIEF will use data integration techniques assisted by semantic enrichment hand-by-hand with big data analytics tools, creating an environment that will enable multisource big data analytics with minimal overhead in resources and manpower required. Moreover, as big data visualisations are generic-purpose tools that do not cover some of the most advanced needs for data visualisation in personal health activities, ONCORELIEF will offer extended support for visualisations, using existing health data to make the process of creating and displaying the visualisation to users more comprehensive to raise their status awareness levels.
Until the end of the project, ONCORELIEF will have validated the feasibility of an AI-based solution on supporting post-treatment cancer patients. This will open the road for its uptake by hospitals and cancer clinics around Europe, that will lead to better, more efficient, personalised support for patients.