Four years ago, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute launched an internal tool called Clinical Pathways that aimed to provide its oncologists with an electronic roadmap to the best treatments available for individual cancers and their current stage. The goal: to provide all cancer patients, whether seen at Dana-Farber’s research facility in Boston, or any of its affiliated centers, with the same level of care based on the organizations latest clinical knowledge.
Now, Dana-Farber is bringing Clinical Pathways to a significantly wider group of users via a new agreement with Philips which will see the clinical care tool integrated with, and deployed through, the Philips IntelliSpace Oncology Platform. Via the partnership with Philips, information from Clinical Pathways will be delivered to treating oncologists through their existing electronic health record (EHR) platforms, along with other health data, including genomic testing, to help develop the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient.
“Clinical Pathways is a platform and process for bringing together our disease experts for many different cancers to try to figure out what is the best care we can provide a patient at every step along their journey,” says David Jackman, M.D., medical director of Clinical Pathways at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “As we got a sense of what Philips’ current footprint in healthcare is and looking at what their IntelliSpace product is, we became very excited with the synergy. What they are looking to collect from a medical record and put in front of a practicing clinician in a meaningful way to encourage communication and facilitate decision making seemed to go perfectly with our Clinical Pathways.”
Under the deal, Philips becomes the exclusive partner bringing the clinical decision care platform to oncologists worldwide outside the confines of Dana-Farber’s affiliated networks of oncologists.
“When it comes to treatment decisions, how could they scale that outside of Dana-Farber?” asks Louis Culot, head of oncology informatics for Philips. “To do that you need a partner that has strength in healthcare informatics and has a commercial footprint. There is a limit to what any academic medical center can do in terms of influencing cancer care unless they can broadcast that out. For something like this, there is no commercial vehicle and technology for them to do that. We can help bring this to a global audience.”
One example provided by the companies of how Clinical Pathways can help patients is in myelogenous leukemia. In a patient who is progressing after first-line treatment, there can be more than a dozen different possible genetic mutations causing resistance to treatment, as well as a number of targeted therapies based on these mutations—all with varying side effects. Pathways helps doctors quickly sort through all of the possibilities to provide the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient.
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