EU launches AI-powered real-world data project for cancer therapies

The European Commission has provided around €7 million ($7.2 million) in funding to a new project that aims to boost the ability of hospitals within the EU to collect real-world data (RWD) to gauge the effectiveness of novel cancer therapies.

Dubbed ONCOVALUE, the initiative will set up a consortium that will develop an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that will be used for routine collection and analysis of clinical data on new oncology medicines to support their assessment by regulators and health technology assessment (HTA) agencies.

It is being led by Helsinki University Hospital (HUS), with Swiss data specialist BC Platforms selected as one of the technology partners for the project.

The EU has made a concerted effort to bolster the use of real-world evidence in clinical decision-making, and earlier this week named the first data partners for its DARWIN EU project, which is getting underway with real-world studies in the areas of cancer, epilepsy, and antimicrobial resistance.

Among the aims of ONCOVALUE are to promote the introduction of cancer drugs and to identify patients who are unlikely to benefit from a new treatment, in order to avoid wastage of resources. That will be achieved by standardising data processing in hospitals so they can efficiently measure the cost effectiveness of new cancer therapies, according to BC Platforms.

“By opening the door to widespread RWD regulatory and HTA integration, ONCOVALUE will lead to safer, more effective and affordable treatments, technologies, and digital solutions for (personalised) cancer care,” said HUS in a statement.

That in turn will “promote the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of cancer treatment [and] long-term implementation of value-based cancer care in European cancer hospitals,” it added.

Other organisations in the consortium include cancer hospitals in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, along with healthcare data company IQVIA and technology providers Siemens Healthcare, Elevate BV, CIAOTech, and Ttopstart. The funding is being provided under the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

Over the four-year project span, around 40,000 European patients will participate each year from hospitals in the consortium.

BC Platforms said it will be helping to create the technical architecture for the project, as well as data analysis, to ensure this technology can transform unstructured patient data from medical notes and images into structured data and real-world evidence that clinicians can use in treatment management.

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