In 2020, more than 350 people will be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer (ABC) in New Zealand. A recent study published by Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ) examined the quality of life and survival rates of ABC patients in New Zealand against other countries and we didn’t compare well…patients pushed to the back of the queue, uneven treatment across the country, and poor symptom management were just some of the findings. All resulting in a symptom burden that has a significant impact on quality of life, and shorter life spans for ABC patients.

Studies show that advanced cancer patients under-report symptoms during consultation – they are hesitant to complain, run out of time, or simply forget when they are talking to the clinicians. This, in turn, can lead to poor symptoms management, disqualification or withdrawal from treatment, reduced quality of life – factors that can ultimately shorten their life.

BCFNZ has partnered with Cemplicity, a patient reported measures company based out of Auckland, to address a number of these shortfalls. Together, we have created a platform called “ABCPro”, combining online patient symptom surveys with clinical decision support for rapid symptom management by a specialist nurse. ABCPro is thought to be the first of its kind in Australasia. It can scale for every DHB and is soon to go live at Waikato. Solutions like ABCPro are increasingly urgent, as remote self-reporting has become critical in the age of COVID-19 to minimize face-to-face contact.

Adele Gautier, Research and Advocacy Manager for BCFNZ and Blaik Wilson, COO of Cemplicity will be presenting a webinar. We know your time is short – this webinar will therefore focus on the key issues in current ABC treatment, how ABCPro will work in practice and the expected outcomes for the project.

There is also nothing like a real-time demonstration to bring a new solution ‘alive’. We will show you how ABC patients can self-report their symptoms throughout their treatment. We’ll illustrate how thresholds for each symptom are maintained in the system and how clinical teams are alerted if any patient breaches those thresholds through their reported symptoms. We will outline how ABCPro combines that feedback with the patient’s clinical record and the metastatic breast cancer eVIQ guidelines to deliver real-time clinical decision support to the Waikato DHB care team.

Its important to remember that ABCPro has been configured in a manner that all DHBs can participate in the programme going forward. An evaluation project is being established at Waikato to measure the impact of the solution, but ABCPro is already getting attention from not just Australia, but breast cancer advocates and clinicians around the world. We look forward to sharing it with you.

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