ONCORELIEF is a 36-month 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 main focus of ONCORELIEF has been placed on two different types of cancer; this has not been decided arbitrarily, but followed a systematic selection approach through a horizontal perspective rather than narrowing down the vision of the project vertically. The selection criteria have been:
- high incidence, thus covering a wider need in the general patient ecosystem,
- avoid low survival rate, thus allowing applicability for an improved level of wellbeing, quality of life and health-status, especially for Pilot and model training purposes
- adequate time for “before” and “after” treatment, therefore leveraging the balance between data availability and life expectancy,
- adequate amount of data for analysis (including genetic type of data), therefore enabling substantially diverse datasets that would be adequate for training the models and methodologies within ONCORELIEF but also providing useful outputs,
- adequate biologic diversity to broaden applicability beyond the scope of the Pilots and
- cross-gender, thus focusing on a wider patient audience without gender discrimination or limitation.
Based on the above, ONCORELIEF project and its Pilots will focus on Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and Colorectal cancer (CRC). CRC incidence and mortality rates vary markedly around the world. Globally, CRC is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in males and the second in females, with 1.8 million new cases and almost 861,000 deaths in 2018 according to the World Health Organization GLOBOCAN database32. Due to earlier diagnosis and advances in treatment, mortality associated with colorectal cancer has been declining for the past two decades, resulting in larger numbers of survivors. Of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer, more than 60% have survived at least 5 years33. On the other hand, AML is considered the most common type of acute leukaemia in adults, but most cases occur in adults. AML makes up 32% of all adult leukaemia cases. It affected approximately 1.5 per 10,000 people in the European Union in 201534.
ONCORELIEF unique offerings will rely on four (4) innovations namely:
- an index (ONCORELIEF wellbeing and Quality-of-Life (QoL) Index) constantly reflecting the patients’ quality of life and well-being levels,
- a digital assistant (ONCORELIEF Guardian Angel), running on a smartphone, supporting the patient in posttreatment everyday activities,
- the application of AI features for personalizing the digital assistant and
- the implementation of data analytics for monitoring the patients’ post-treatment activities.
The benefits of the suggested solution will be evaluated in real-life conditions by performing 2 twelve-month validation studies with 450 patients; one involving Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), and one involving Colorectal cancer (CRC). The different nature of the cases will provide a wide variety of requirements, making ONCORELIEF a broad solution, ensuring the future applicability and its extension to other types of cancer. Ultimately, ONCORELIEF can be delivered as a cancer type-agnostic suite that can be properly adjusted to fit the needs of specific cancer types as per their unique requirements.