ASCAPE- The Clinical Perspective

The Challenge

The ASCAPE platform stage

The features of the ASCAPE platform and the innovations it brings to improve the Quality of Life of cancer patients are promising, but like any medical application, it must be ensured that it works to the highest standards. ASCAPE researchers manage this by testing it at four healthcare and academic institutions in Spain, Greece, Sweden, and the United Kingdom that specialize in cancer treatment. In this process, a methodology is followed in which the Quality-of-Life issues of breast and prostate cancer patients are first identified and then possible interventions and a strategy for evaluating the effectiveness of the platform are selected. Considering the perspective of doctors and patients and based on clinical practice, we selected indicators that make the most sense of the daily challenges that a patient must face based on factors such as frequency, magnitude of impact on the patient’s life, and self-reporting ability among others.

What is for cancer patients from AI-based solutions?

As said, most cancer patients experience a lot of physical and psychological pain that prevents them from enjoying life. The ASCAPE AI-based platform can suggest interventions that cure such annoyances. In the case of a woman with breast cancer who suffers from fatigue, she can alleviate it by adopting movement-based relaxation techniques or dietary guidelines that has discussed previously with her doctor because of ASCAPE AI-based platform suggestions. Similarly, for a man with prostate cancer suffering from incontinence, the ASCAPE platform could suggest to his doctor to apply personalized interventions, such as pelvic muscle training or electrical stimulation, among other alternatives. Of course, the testing for suggested interventions efficiency is only a part of the ASCAPE clinical trials. From the patients’ point of view, our researchers evaluate factors such as their satisfaction, compliance with the intervention and their quality-of-life status over time. From the doctors’ point of view, is evaluated the relationship with their patients, as well as their interaction and experience from using the platform, among others.

Breaking the “Iron Triangle of Health”

Based on the above, it’s clear that the design and set-up of trials in a clinical setting is a complicated and lengthy process that encompasses a variety of aspects like the diversity of clinical settings, the diversity of patients, the complexity of interventions, the endless combinations of possible scenarios, and many external factors, to name only a few. Even if ASCAPE’s interventions are non-pharmacological or biological in nature, they are still modifying human behavior:  that of patients and healthcare professionals. As a result, the real challenge is the positioning of ASCAPE to enable the disruption of the “Iron Triangle of Health”.

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