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Open Medical awarded funding for new cancer innovation set to transform cancer diagnoses in England

We are thrilled to announce that Open Medical, along with partners Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN and Eastern AHSN has been awarded funding for a late-stage innovative solution for the frontline of cancer detection and diagnosis.

Our innovation Pathpoint eDerma is a clinical pathway management system to help diagnose skin cancer and rapidly exclude patients without cancer from the diagnostic pathway. Using smart phones and tablets, dermoscopy images of the suspected skin cancer can be reviewed and triaged immediately, streamlining the patient pathway from referral to diagnosis and treatment.

As an NHS clinician-led organisation, we recognised the challenges that clinicians faced, in dermatology in particular, having the highest number of referrals with potential cancer. There is a lack of specialist dermatologists which creates a huge problem, and what we are finding is that across the country, skin cancers and melanoma in particular, are being diagnosed much later- that is having an impact on patients. Through the use of cloud technology we can consolidate these fragmented pathways and make it far more efficient for clinical teams, which ultimately helps the patient in getting their skin cancer diagnosed much earlier.

Within the next 12 months we are hoping to implement our solution at a regional level and create community diagnostic centres for skin cancer in a number of regions across the country. We fully understand that there is no 'one size fits all' approach and we are looking to implement a number of different pathway models and structures and be able to analyse and assess which one works most effectively and when and where, in order to be able to provide a scalable solution that can be used across the whole of the NHS.

The award is one of eight innovations funded through a nationwide call by SBRI Healthcare in 2021, in partnership with the NHS Cancer Programme and the Accelerated Access Collaborative, which attracted more than 51 applications.

Commenting on the award, Clinical Lead for the project and Consultant Dermatologist & Clinical Lead at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, Dr Saul Halpern, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this SRBI grant which will now enable us to introduce a new pathway for managing the huge demand from patients in East Kent who have skin lesions of concern. By using digital technology we will be able to see these patients close to their home and without needing to travel to hospital, in order to rapidly identify who needs treatment and seamlessly plan their care where required."

To read more about the winners of the grant from NHS England, head here.


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