This World Cancer Day we must acknowledge the sad fact that, globally, cancer cases are rising. Like so many others, I have lost loved ones to cancer . My thoughts today are with everyone who has suffered loss to cancer.
But cancer is often preventable, and if not preventable then increasingly treatable. We must plan for how we will meet the growing demand for cancer treatment.
While the pandemic has put a huge strain on cancer clinics, it has also provided important lessons on how we can make cancer care more efficient. Hospitals have taken innovative approaches, for example, by delivering radiation treatment through hypofractionation. This is a technique where patients are given a smaller number of individual treatments, each at a higher dosage rate, reducing the number of sessions required.
We rely heavily on the innovative approaches by frontline staff. We must do more to support them. Developing and then embedding new technologies into the cancer care workflow is one very effective way of doing this. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered task and workflow automation is an important tool here. For example, AI can automate ‘organs at risk’ contouring which is a critical part of the radiotherapy workflow. This can save time, freeing clinicians to treat more patients and more complex cases.
The NHS has become a vocal advocate of AI and real action is required to start the roll-out to everyday cancer care. This World Cancer Day we call on industry, the NHS and healthcare organizations to explore a collaborative approach to efficiently delivering cancer care to accelerate progress in the fight against cancer.”
Hugh Bettesworth, CEO, Mirada Medical