University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has been awarded a grant of £685,316 to test in clinical practice a new proof-of-concept machine learning algorithm designed to improve cancer care.
The new algorithm – tested in collaboration with Durham University and health tech company Evergreen Life Ltd, and funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)– is said can ‘accurately’ predict liver and kidney function levels in cancer patients.
Evergreen Life are developing the application so it can be used in clinic to predict a patient’s kidney and liver function before they start chemotherapy treatment.
According to UCLH, the algorithm’s ability to predict liver and kidney damage in advance means low-risk patients could be saved unnecessary trips to hospital for blood tests, while ensuring effective monitoring of high-risk patients.
Co-designer of the new algorithm, Dr Pinkie Chambers, Cancer Pharmacist, UCLH, added: “Patients are often concerned about the frequency of blood tests and the waiting time associated with them, during chemotherapy. I am delighted that our collaboration has been funded to progress this work to improve both patient experience, safety and reduce NHS costs.”
Chris Kennelly, Head of Secondary Care, Evergreen Life Ltd, commented: “It’s exciting to be working with the teams at Durham University and UCLH and this awarded grant is recognition of the hard work the team has put into the collaboration. This project is a fantastic opportunity to improve the care of thousands, if not millions, of cancer patients across the UK and beyond. This is just one of a number of projects we are collaborating on with leading academic research teams to realise improved care for patients suffering from a range of diseases, and we’re looking forward to sharing more in the coming months.”