Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies can transform cancer care in India: WEF

The Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things), can deliver better cancer care.

Published: 04th February 2022 03:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2022 03:07 PM   |  A+A-


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NEW DELHI: With cancer rates in India having risen nearly 60 per cent since 1990, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a new white paper on Friday that Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies can play a 'game-changer' role in transforming cancer care in the country.

Citing results of a study published in an American science journal, JCO Global Oncology, it said cancer rates are rising rapidly across India and one in nine of the country's 1.3 billion citizens will develop the disease during their lifetime while less than a third will survive 5 years or more past their diagnosis.

The white paper said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things), can deliver better cancer care.

The Oncology Data Model proposed by the white paper captures data along the entire patient journey to transform every aspect of cancer care, from prevention and diagnosis to curative care and governance, it added.

Since 1990, the number of cases has climbed by 59 per cent to reach 100.7 per 100,000 people, affecting 1.39 million in 2020.

The disease rate is set to rise another 7.8 per cent by 2025.

Dietary and lifestyle changes, along with an ageing population, are driving the growth in cancer, with tobacco use causing nearly one-third of all cases, the WEF said.

The Forum's India Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution convened more than 30 expert stakeholders over dozens of meetings to determine how Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies could revolutionise that care.

Cancer data gets fragmented due to the long and complex nature of diagnosis, treatment and care.

A clinical research environment, founded on trustworthy, anonymised and annotated datasets on different types of cancer is badly needed, it said.

The paper recommended employing the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to address priorities in preventive care, curative care and governance, including health screening, awareness-raising, diagnosis, capacity building and public health intelligence.

AI can enable faster and more accurate diagnosis, wearables can promote wellness, IoT devices can support remote management and AI-enabled clinical decision support can enhance the effectiveness of health professionals.

The white paper's central proposal is to create an Oncology Data Model, including data capture, standards, protection and alignment with India's Digital Health Mission.

"This model -- described as a 'game changer' among emerging tech interventions -- would ensure data capture along every step of the patient journey, while avoiding duplication and ensuring privacy," said Purushottam Kaushik, Head, Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, India.

"The Oncology Master Record thus created would be accessible to all authorised stakeholders," he added.

The paper recommends testing the proposed technology solutions is model in two or three district-level pilots per state, scaling it up after the pilots demonstrate success.


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