National Cancer Grid unveils Centre for digital oncology

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, August 26: The National Cancer Grid (NCG) has established the Koita Centre for Digital Oncology (KCDO) to promote use of technologies and tools to improve cancer care across India.

The Centre has been set up with the contributions received from the Koita Foundation, which will support it for five years. The Tata Memorial Centre and Koita Foundation formalized the collaboration by signing an MoU.

The KCDO will support NCG hospitals in sharing best practices in digital health, adopting digital health tools, and driving common technology initiatives, including EMR adoption, healthcare data interoperability, reporting and analytics.

“The KCDO will also enable NCG and NCG hospitals pilot and adopt new technologies, including AI, machine learning, big data, automation, cloud, mobile, which will benefit hospitals, doctors, patients and consumers,” said the Department of Atomic Energy in a statement.

The initiative also aims to improve the reach of the cancer care with digital tools such as tele-medicine and remote patient monitoring in semi-urban and rural areas.

“AI-assisted clinical decision support tools will help improve doctors’ ability to provide better care, and mobile patient engagement apps will help patients with medication management and better compliance with care guidelines,” added the department.

Similarly, use of healthcare data analytics across hospitals will enable tracking and benchmarking of clinical outcomes and effectiveness of different treatment and care pathways, it further stated.

“The Koita Centre for Digital Oncology is a very timely initiative. It will help create an innovation ecosystem across hospitals, healthcare technology companies, academic institutions and research organizations to address challenges in cancer care. The positive impact of this ecosystem can extend beyond cancer care,” said Dr. R A Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre.

Also, the new centre will enable more than 270 NCG partner hospitals to assess and deploy digital tools to enhance cancer care and make it more accessible and affordable across India, said Dr. C S Pramesh, Convener of the NCG.

The National Cancer Grid (NCG) is an initiative of the Government of India through the Department of Atomic Energy and its grant-in-aid institution, the Tata Memorial Centre.

It aims for creating a network of cancer centres, research institutes, patient groups and charitable institutions across India.

The NCG states its objective as developing uniform standards of patient care for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer; providing specialized training and education in oncology and facilitating collaborative basic, translational and clinical research in cancer.

The NCG has over 270 hospitals in its network across India.

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