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Reflections on the launch of the PROMs PREMs Phase 1 Projects

Dr Peter Hall

29th September 2017


Thoughts from Dr Peter Hall(Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cancer Informatics and Health Economics at the University of Edinburgh and a practising oncologist) the clinical lead for the Cancer Innovation Challenge's first funding competition to find New Approaches to Record and Integrate Cancer PROMs and PREMs after the project launch and stakeholder engagement event on 5 September. 

A video recording of the event can be viewed here

Information about the five Phase 1 projects can be found here.

(NB PROMs - Patient Recorded Outcome Measures, PREMs - Patient Recorded Experience Measures)

I have been hugely encouraged by the high quality and relevance of successful applicant companies and their proposed solutions to our recent CIC PROMs call. It has always been clear to me that we need to do more than just collect PROMs for the sake of it. Collecting data on how our treatments are affecting patients across the nation is critical and remains the primary objective, but it is refreshing to see that those involved want to achieve more.

Using PROMs as part of routine care offers an opportunity for real-time feedback from patients to their healthcare team. The opportunities for improved care are huge. They range from rapidly identifying and managing unexpected acute side effects, to enabling long-term monitoring of the wellbeing of cancer survivors. The concept is now proven with recent data emerging from the US suggesting that the intelligent use of PROMs can help patients live longer better lives.

The challenge faced by the successful teams should not be underestimated. Introducing a new technology in a cost-efficient way into a complex system like the NHS will always be fraught with difficulties. Integrating with existing clinical workflow, enabling universal access to patients and compatibility with existing IT infrastructure will need to be top priorities.

We operate in the age of Evidence Based Medicine. For this reason, I think it is imperative that any proposed solution should see its adoption embedded within a framework of evaluation. We need to know if it actually improves patient care. I hope that a clear and prospectively planned strategy for measuring impact will be a central part of any plans.

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