OWise has received a £100,000 award to progress to the second phase of Scotland’s prestigious Cancer Innovation Challenge, and could soon be supporting cancer patients across Scotland to share their symptoms with their medical team in real-time.

Enabling cancer patients to share symptoms as they happen has been proven to improve treatment options and increase survival rates by up to five months.

OWise joined the first year cohort of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) in 2015. It is one of two projects selected to progress to phase two of the Cancer Innovation Challenge, which aims to inspire novel data and tech innovations to help Scotland become a world leader in cancer care.

OWise records ‘Patient-Reported Outcome Measures’ (PROMs) and ‘Patient-Reported Experience Measures’ (PREMs) and integrates them with NHS technology systems. Allowing cancer patients to record symptoms such as pain, nausea or tiredness as they experience them gives doctors a more accurate understanding of their condition and how they are responding to treatment.

The tools will enhance cancer patients’ experiences during treatment, potentially improve their life expectancy and also deliver longer-term insights into the effectiveness of different treatments for clinicians.

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “Ensuring that the person receiving care is at the centre of medical decision making is crucial. Getting accurate information from patients about their symptoms at the time they are experiencing them is core to this. This is particularly pertinent for people with cancer. How they feel really matters.

“Patient-reported outcomes (PROs), using innovative tools such as these, will enable doctors to weigh-up risks and benefits of individuals’ treatments. It takes the pressure off the patient having to remember how they felt a week or two ago when they are coming in for their next appointment. Using such tools has the potential to enhance the quality of life for patients while they are going through treatment. Ultimately it is about improving services, treatments and outcomes for people with cancer.”

The Cancer Innovation Challenge is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and delivered by three Scottish innovation centres – led by The Data Lab and supported by the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) and Stratified Medicine Scotland (SMS).

To find out more about the Cancer Innovation Challenge and its associated activities and funding opportunities, visit www.cancerchallengescotland.com