Skip to main content

CareTrio: Decision Support for Oncology

Overview

Our team is developing a three-pronged system for oncology care. This system, which originates from our former CliG system, provides a comprehensive approach for assessing compliance with oncological clinical practice guidelines and recommending optimal medical treatment for cancer patients. The CareEdit tool facilitates the creation and modification of clinical practice guidelines. CareGuide assimilates the knowledge derived from CareEdit into a clinical decision support system to aid physicians in selecting the optimal care plan. CareView is a retrospective analysis tool that evaluates care quality by analyzing the outcome of past clinical decisions and identifying patients whose treatment deviated from guideline recommendations.

Cancer is a major source of human suffering and one of the most common causes of death worldwide. In addition to its tremendous health impact, cancer also bears a staggering financial impact. In fact, the burden of cancer on the world's economy reached $895 billion in 2008, accounting for approximately 1.5% of the world's GDP. The immense efforts invested to develop cancer treatments have gradually lowered cancer mortality rates, but have also complicated the process of oncology care. There are now a plethora of cancer treatment options, making it a challenging task to consistently follow the treatment recommendations dictated by clinical practice guidelines. Interestingly, although deviations from guidelines can have negative results, they are often in fact beneficial. Thus, a central challenge in cancer medical informatics is to identify deviations from clinical practice guidelines and to assess whether they are medical mistakes or guideline improvements.

IBM Research – Haifa is developing CareEdit, CareGuide and CareView as a comprehensive approach for assessing compliance with oncological clinical practice guidelines and recommending optimal medical treatment for cancer patients.

The CareEdit tool facilitates the creation and modification of clinical practice guidelines. CareGuide assimilates the knowledge derived from CareEdit into a clinical decision support system to aid physicians in selecting the optimal care plan. CareView is a retrospective analysis tool that evaluates care quality by analyzing past clinical decisions and identifying patients whose treatment deviated from guideline recommendations. By correlating deviations with clinical outcomes, CareView can also be used to find deviations from clinical practice guidelines that resulted in improved survival, underscoring the importance of such analysis. CareView analysis results are fed back into CareEdit for refining and adjusting the clinical practice guidelines to improve care.

Ultimately, CareEdit, CareGuide, and CareView are intended to increase survival among cancer patients while reducing the treatment cost in a clinical setting. As an added benefit, this trio of tools can also be used to increase medical knowledge by generating insights derived from retrospective patient data that can be published in the biomedical literature. The tools are deployed on top of EHR systems and can be integrated naturally within care delivery organizations providing oncology patient care and management. The first version is currently being deployed at a large cancer medical center in Italy.

For more info: see movie, press release, brochure.

Contact: Boaz Carmeli