Stockholm – Monday June 21st, 2021
War On Cancer (www.waroncancer.com), the free-to-use app providing support to everyone affected by cancer, has collaborated with Microsoft Sweden to launch the ‘Clinical Trial Finder’ feature. This feature within the War On Cancer app is a world-first for a consumer tech platform: enabling patients in the US, UK, Sweden, and across Europe to locate and access clinical trials relevant to their condition (and locality).
The ‘Clinical Trial Finder’ feature within War On Cancer (an app launched in 2017 to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of those diagnosed with the life-changing illness) solves one of the traditional disconnects in cancer treatment. According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2017, whilst approximately 70% of people with a critical cancer diagnosis express a willingness to participate in a clinical trial – a figure which has been found as high as 88% in other studies – only 3% ever get the opportunity. The low engagement rate is a consequence of the complex and fragmented nature of clinical trials, and the fact that doctors cannot be expected to know of every live trial suitable to a particular patient. Perversely, many clinical trials are halted as a result of failing to secure enough participants.
Clinical Trial Finder – Specifics
Developed over six months in close collaboration with the technical healthcare specialists at Microsoft, this feature empowers War On Cancer app members to identify potential clinical trials for which they could be suitable in a simple, user-friendly way: using the member’s diagnosis and data inputted to determine eligible clinical trials currently available and seeking participants.
Underpinning the feature’s functionality is Microsoft-developed AI software that analyzes the documentation accompanying international cancer clinical trials. The technology interprets this information and then poses questions (based on the criteria for the clinical studies) to the War On Cancer app member interested in taking part. The software analyzes the clinical trials available, learns which questions are relevant for the case at hand, and presents a list of suitable clinical trials. Microsoft built the technology and War On Cancer has created a user-friendly experience that makes it easy for a patient to find and share potential clinical trials with their doctor or healthcare team so as to take the next step.
Fabian Bolin, co-founder of War On Cancer comments:
“Being part of a clinical study can actually mean being offered the chance to survive. For many with a poor prognosis, clinical trials are the last hope they have, and time is usually short. When Microsoft presented this solution to me about a year and a half ago, I immediately felt that it was something we wanted to make accessible to our members.”
“This service not only helps to solve one of the major problems in cancer research, which is finding enough participants for clinical trials. It also empowers patients to take control of their own treatment – know what is available, present it to their doctor and join clinical trials, which can be the key to surviving cancer. The fact that a patient feels control and participation in decisions about treatment, which is often not the case right now, contributes to better mental health during and after cancer treatment. This matches the mission of War On Cancer,” Fabian continues.
Mathias Ekman, Director Industry Solutions Executive for Healthcare at Microsoft Western Europe, adds:
“The issue of connecting patients with suitable clinical trials has been highly debated for some time now, including at several major conferences. We are proud to work with War On Cancer for this solution and happy that we, as a global company, can support meaningful innovation.”
War On Cancer – Background
War On Cancer started in 2017 in order to radically improve the wellbeing of everyone affected by cancer, with a focus on mental health. Fabian Bolin, who survived acute lymphoblastic leukaemia thanks to a clinical trial, and his friend, Sebastian Hermelin, realized the huge need for mental health support during and after cancer treatment. The War On Cancer app was born – a place where people who experience cancer and their loved ones can connect, share stories, and learn from and support each other. The app is currently available in over 20 countries and is one of the world’s largest social cancer apps.
The War On Cancer app also improves mental health by enabling members of the app to participate in Health Studies and contribute to advancing cancer research and care. Participation is voluntary and often done in partnership with researchers and pharmaceutical companies. The latest Health Study, “Is Cancer Care Addressing Your Mental Health” found that 71% of the participants believe that their mental health has declined during cancer treatment, and that 86% believe that people who have been diagnosed with cancer should be referred to a therapist or psychologist.
For international media enquiries or to speak with
Fabian Bolin (War On Cancer) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mathias Ekman (Microsoft)