Researchers will use AI and online hospital records to improve detection and reduce the risk of bowel cancer across five different hospital networks.
A new digital intervention using artificial intelligence and data linkage to identify Australians at risk of bowel cancer is about to be trialled in South Australia.
Researchers from Flinders University, SA Health and Cancer Council NSW have been given close to $3 million to develop a digital surveillance tool that collects data from existing hospital records to improve bowel cancer detection.
Part of this digital tool will be a new online colonoscopy database and a comprehensive data registry for future cancer research.
The digital surveillance framework will be guided by AI algorithms that will identify the appropriate surveillance recommendations based on current guidelines.
According to lead investigator Associate Professor Erin Symonds, the project will be implemented in five hospital networks across the state to determine the feasibility, suitability and cost-effectiveness of the digital intervention.
“The implementation trial will provide the critical evidence to validate its consumer acceptability, improvement to clinical practice, and cost effectiveness. It will also ensure that the surveillance program is sustainable and scalable nation-wide,” Professor Symonds told media.
The SCOPE (Surveillance for Colorectal Cancer Prevention) trial received funding from the MRFF’s national critical research infrastructure grant, which provides between $3 million and $7 million for innovative medical research projects designed to address unmet need in the healthcare system.
The basis for the new digital database originated from the success of the Southern Co-operative Program for Prevention of Colorectal Cancer (SCOOP), Australia’s largest colorectal cancer surveillance program established at Flinders Medical Centre in 2000.
Colorectal cancer is the second largest cause of cancer-related death in Australia, with around 300,000 colonoscopies performed each year nationwide for surveillance purposes.