Tata Memorial’s online assistance system saved 9,000 patients from trips to the hospital
The online assistance system provides round-the-clock expert opinions to people who are dependent on a limited number of oncologists.
Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), a cancer care facility, has helped answer over 30,000 enquiries from patients related to medical analysis via its online system.
The online system — started more than a year ago to assist patients with facilities before and after treatment — has helped over 9,000 patients and families with palliative care options, diet plans, second opinions and treatment analysis online, saving their effort to travel all the way to the facility.
A joint effort of TMC and National Cancer Grid and Navya Network, the online assistance system, was planned as a bridge between patients and experts, providing round-the-clock expert opinion for people who are dependent on limited number of oncologists.
“Availing information and clarity about treatment is a mammoth task for a family distressed by the news of cancer being diagnosed. Secondly, patients coming from every part of the country to TMC for referral treatment opinions have numerous pre and post treatment queries and it’s challenging for oncologists to resolve all of them in a brief appointment,” said Gitika Srivastava, founder of Navya Network.
The system, works with the help of two separate engines, known as ‘evidence engine,’ and ‘experience engine.’ While the former holds a vast database of oncological clinical trials and latest treatment options updated with each positive result, the latter stores past case histories and line of treatment offered by experts from TMC. “As soon as the patient’s records are fed into the system, it gives a structured analysis of the ailment and evaluates the best line of treatment within matter of hours,” added Srivastava.
Bengaluru based Samik Basu, who recently completed the treatment of his 58-year-old mother diagnosed with ovarian cancer, said that the system saved his time and efforts to travel all the way to Mumbai. “Because of the interactive online tool, I had to only visit the hospital to deposit the biopsy samples and treatment. The reports and second opinions were available online and we always had help throughout the cancer treatment,” said Basu.