The role of technology in fighting cancer
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World Cancer Day 2022 is a good opportunity to reflect on the huge gains humans have achieved in the struggle to fight cancer.
Alongside intensive research and study in the medical field, there is a surprising secret weapon: Technology – specifically digital transformation and API-led integration in the cloud.
How has digital transformation benefited the mission?
Think of all the technology supporting oncologists, physicians, researchers, hospitals and more: databases, equipment, medical applications, on-premises and remote monitoring devices, 3D printing platforms and so much more.
Technology is the foundation of innovation in medicine today. Think about it. Without it, integration of those more advanced medical applications would be a pipe dream. Innovative and groundbreaking remote monitoring devices are useless without them generating the data that can be effectively shared. You need technology for that.
Software AG is already integrating healthcare data today, and it has the power to transform the healthcare industry for the good of humanity.
How do integration & APIs help?
Cutting-edge medical research, medical applications, data collection and 3D printing can usher in massive productivity gains for the medical community if these systems are integrated and connected effectively.
For example, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a government organization and global leader in cancer research, modernized the Cancer Data Standards Registry and Repository to help the global oncology research community leverage existing cancer research data sets for new research programs. By mapping existing cancer research to various standards and delivering APIs to link data elements across the global standards, the NCI was able to achieve data harmonization for the global research community.
Researchers can more easily find relevant data sets from existing studies, which can be correlated, compared, modeled and visualized in their own cancer research. As a result, cancer researchers enjoy significant productivity gains and realize leaps in innovation much quicker. By leveraging the NCI repository, subsequent clinical trials of new cancer treatments are executed faster as harmonized research data is integrated across other healthcare systems and standards.
Going further with IT transformation
With Software AG’s webMethods and OneData master data management solution, NCI’s modern integration is simple yet accomplishes complex tasks. For example, a researcher in Prague who is studying a particular gene mutation can search, track, collate and integrate semantic data associated with that gene from many different studies and across many industry healthcare standards. The repository will suggest relevant cancer studies related to that gene from the huge global archive of cancer research and provide those data sets instantaneously to the researching scientist in the appropriate standard.
The cloud ties it all together
The cloud supports this intricate ecosystem of technology, standards and research organizations– creating a network where researchers, doctors, governments and communities can interface quickly and effectively. Without the speed, accessibility, security and scalability of the cloud, much of the gains made over the last couple of years would not have been possible.
Technology is a turbo boost for our innovative researchers as they fight to treat and ultimately cure cancer. Raising awareness of cancer – and encouraging its prevention, detection, treatment and cure- will always be the end goal.
On World Cancer Day we all want to create a future without cancer. The time to act is now, and technology can play an important role in helping our heroes in the fight against it.