UX design excellence and Big Data meet personalized medicine
Can data-driven, breakthrough technology help improve care and outcomes for cancer patients by accelerating progress in medical research? It can when designed in sync with how healthcare professionals work. That’s the premise behind the SAP Medical Research Insights solution powered by SAP HANA, which was recently recognized with a prestigious Red Dot Award for its interface design.
Perhaps no other field of work exemplifies the opportunity to gain insights from big data than cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Thanks to co-innovation efforts between SAP and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Germany, dedicated researchers and care-givers can now use SAP Medical Research Insights to accelerate medical research. Oncologists at NCT use more than 15,000 therapy applications to treat over 10,000 patients annually. A single patient may have up to 1,200 unique data elements in his or her records. With this solution, healthcare professionals hope to gain faster insights from these huge amounts of data, speeding up and improving clinical trials for researchers, while generating ideas that ultimately save lives.
“Physicians, researchers and other medical staff have instant access to all relevant clinical data of each patient on one system level in real-time,” said Professor Dr. Christof von Kalle, Chair of the NCT Board of Directors and Director of Translational Oncology at the German Cancer Research Center. “This enables them to quickly group patients with matching criteria, providing insights to deliver comprehensive cancer care both directly and indirectly for patients.”
Oncologists at NCT expect studies and trials that are supported by SAP solutions will help identify new ways to diagnose and treat cancer in the future.
Context Reinvents Medical Innovation
According to Andreas Hauser, Senior Vice President of the Design and Co-Innovation Center at SAP, the SAP Medical Research Insights solution embodies a modern approach to both software design and medical research.
“We’re honored to receive this Red Dot award because this solution is a unique combination of advanced technology designed to provide an intuitive and visually appealing user experience that is changing people’s lives,” said Andreas Hauser. “This solution is something researchers and care-givers already have in their hands, using its design to have a positive impact on people.”
Using Design Thinking methodology, SAP’s designers and developers created the solution only after carefully observing on-site how physicians, nurses and researchers actually work in their daily lives. It replaces weeks of painstaking, manual processes with real-time analyses that researchers can generate in seconds, resulting in more informed and significantly accelerated research projects.
The solution gives healthcare researchers and providers a holistic view of a patient’s medical history in a visually engaging, graphical timeline. Data access choices match the various needs of researchers, physicians and nurses. The application uses a system of customizable filter cards that can be combined by users to quickly identify the patients whose treatment history is relevant for their research work. Overall the objective is to free up everyone’s time to spend more on patient care and less on paperwork.
While SAP Medical Research Insights has proven its value to oncologists, Dr. Jürgen Müller, Head of SAP’s Innovation Center Network said it can be applied in other healthcare areas. “This solution’s flexible architecture can also be customized for other fields of medical research that are increasingly facing the same big data challenges.”
Digital Age Healthcare
Oncology has assumed a leading role in personalized medicine that increasingly revolves around data-intensive research and diagnostic procedures. The challenge lies in making sense of the enormous variety of data.
“Given the accelerated development of molecular and biological technology in cancer research, we need to understand and analyze data throughout the clinical treatment and research process, and intelligently combine the diverse data flows,” said von Kalle, “SAP Medical Research Insights offers a holistic digital perspective on our patients to support the clinical decision-making process, and optimize personalized medicine for more efficient and effective clinical research and care procedures.”
The benefits of personalized medicine are only just beginning. Ultimately, NCT wants to use real-time data analysis to support every diagnostic and therapeutic step in the hopes that it will improve the lives and futures of people who suffer from cancer. After all, it’s the people in personalized medicine that matter most.
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