The UK NHS Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire Cancer Alliance (SWAG) has collaborated with Inspirata to implement the latter’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Inspirata’s Trial Navigator software will aid in expediting the detection and matching of cancer patients in the region to appropriate clinical trials.

In the initial stage, the software will be deployed at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW).

This is the first stage of a multicentre roll-out of the clinical trial matching solution that could help patients throughout the region.

Inspirata’s software leverages oncology-specific natural language processing (NLP) AI to eradicate usual constraints in the trial matching workflow. 

It operates with the trust’s current information governance processes to examine the individual medical reports, notes and referral letters of cancer patients and extracts crucial data about their disease. 

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At the same time, Trial Navigator cross-references traits identified against eligibility criteria for the study within the clinical trial databases automatically. 

It subsequently displays studies that can probably reflect a patient who is fit for clinical assessment.

The alliance expects the launch of the software to aid in the recruitment of a broader demography of patients to engage in cancer research.

Automating clinical trial matching is designed to benefit the SWAG Cancer Alliance in functioning towards the goals of NHS England for rebuilding cancer services after the Covid-19 pandemic.

SWAG Cancer Alliance clinical director Dr Helen Winter said: “We hope that this solution will afford both clinicians and patients in the region a greater choice of potential treatment options. 

“Similarly, expedite the fulfilment of existing, and the hosting of new clinical trials as we look to recover services affected by the pandemic.”