OUR FIGHT AGAINST LUNG CANCER
Today, healthcare systems have the tools and treatments to beat cancer, but manual processes and mountains of paperwork create obstacles to that treatment. Cancer goes undetected and untreated often due to the time-consuming data entry that accompanies screenings. Disconnected data and records allow people to slip through the cracks after being screened and miss follow-up treatment. People die, not because we could not treat their disease, but because we did not detect it and treat them in time.
Lung cancer has an 18% five-year survival rate, because it frequently goes undetected until stage 3 or 4. Current statistics show only 3 percent of the 9 million people are at risk for lung cancer will be screened. This number is far too low for the most deadly cancer in the world. In the United States alone, 142,670 people died from lung cancer last year, more than breast, prostate and colorectal cancer combined.
For every 320 CT scans, one life will be saved. Approximately 28,125 lives could be saved if everyone at risk was screened.
Thynk Health is fighting lung cancer by working with healthcare organizations and communities to disrupt outdated, burdensome lung cancer screening processes and remove barriers standing between patients and treatment. Our solution transforms healthcare data systems to identify at-risk populations for screening, enabling early detection and treatment to save lives.
In 2015, a team of radiologists acted on their frustrations with the inefficiencies surrounding lung cancer screening. Practicing in a geographical area experiencing some of the highest rates of lung cancer in the nation, they were seeing lives cut short too often due to a lack of data management. The manual, human entry of patient data was taking too long and was prone to error resulting in inaccurate and incomplete information. This caused, among other things, at-risk, eligible patients to go unscreened simply because there was not enough capacity or they had fallen through the cracks of a complex and overburdened system.
One major issue the team focused on was correcting the process of lung cancer screening programs data quality and reporting, which often required staffing several people to manually read patient records from disparate sources and re-enter it into data registries. This process was so time-consuming, that patient follow ups and addressing incidental findings were being neglected. They knew they would need to completely automate the data abstraction process so that healthcare professionals could focus on patient care and outcomes rather than on databases.
As a result, they partnered with a team of engineers and began working on structured reporting using natural language processing technology. Realizing how difficult it can be to change a process, they focused on extracting and analyzing data being input into existing workflows that providers are comfortable with.
Today, the Thynk Health platform uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to automate the data entry and data collection processes thus improving the efficiency and effectiveness of lung cancer screening programs at hospital systems around the nation, helping more hospitals screen, diagnose and treat more at-risk patients.