A digital tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help GPs detect cancer in the early stages has been rolled out to 400 GP practices across North West London clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
The ‘C the Signs’ platform, which can be used during routine consultations, is described as being able to identify the cancer(s) a patient is at risk of having within 30 seconds, using signs, symptoms, risk factors and other clinical markers.
It is already in use across South West London practices and also recommends which tests, further investigations or specialist reviews a patient may need.
According to the CCGs, the tool can be used to ‘risk assess and refer patients remotely through video consultation or over the phone’.
On its website, the developer said that the tool is fast enough to be used during patient consultations to speed up clinical decision-making, ‘ensuring at risk patients are identified and access the right service at the right time for their clinical needs’.
It has been designed to reflect the ‘natural decision-making process’ of doctors, and effectively translates complex research and guidelines into a simple resource, it added.
Bhavagaya Bakshi, GP and co-founder of C the Signs, said: ‘One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer. Delays in accessing cancer care can mean life or death for patients; it is therefore vital for us to ensure all patients at risk of cancer are identified and referred urgently.
‘Although behind the scenes, C the Signs has already made dramatic differences in patients’ lives by supporting doctors in this complex and challenging area of cancer. We are delighted to be rolling this out further so more patients can benefit.’
Dr Afsana Safa, GP and clinical director for cancer at NHS North West London CCGs, added: ‘GPs want patients with suspected cancer to be diagnosed at the earliest possible stage. We are excited to be rolling out C the Signs, which incorporates our local cancer pathways, to give patients at risk of cancer rapid access to tests, diagnostics and any treatment they may need.’