0 Recommendations

Earlier diagnosis of (pediatric) cancers by CHWs

By Joris Van Dam | 20 Nov, 2017

Dear All,

The other day I ran into an exciting and energizing global health entrepreneur, whose initiatives I thought might be of interest to this forum.

Cr Bea Bakshi and her colleagues have been developing and assessing in the UK a novel tool for earlier diagnosis in cancer - particularly in pediatrics populations. In summary, and with apologies for the oversimplification, cancer can manifest itself in so many different symptoms, and the idea of this tool is to maintain longitudinal trials to more easily connect the dots between such symptoms.

An approach that ideally lends itself to use on mobile devices by CHWs. Which, when successful, should lead to earlier referral to local specialty care centers / surgical clinics, for much earlier and intervention with better patient outcomes (i.e. early surgical intervention as opposed to life long pharmacological treatment).

Dr Bakshi already found support and funding to assess utilization of the tool in Global Health scenarios, and is looking for local partners for pilot implementation. More info on the tool below and attached.

Hope that is of interest to this community!



C the Signs is a digital health company based in London, co-founded by two Doctors with a strong desire to transform early diagnosis of cancer.

Diagnosing cancer is extremely challenging. Unlike other diseases, there is no single identifiable symptom or test that can alert doctors to a potential cancer diagnosis. Cancer rather is a collection of signs, symptoms and risk factors, which often overlap with many other long-term diseases. There are over 200 different types of cancer; which have different features.

Survival and cure from Cancer is inextricably linked to stage at diagnosis. Stage represents how far the Cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. At stages 1 or 2, the Cancer has not spread, at this stage, for the most common types of Cancer; cure rates are as high as 90%. However, at late diagnosis, at stages 3 or 4, when the Cancer has spread throughout the body, survival can drop significantly, to less than 10%, leaving the patient with a poorer quality of life, shortened life expectancy and more costly treatment.

C the Signs is a digital tool, (App & website) that helps doctors identify patients with cancer at the earliest and most curable stage of the disease. The tool uses advanced algorithms, with optimisation and prioritisation to reflect the natural decision making process of a doctor. It has the ability to identify patients with a 3% risk or higher, covering the entire spectrum of cancer, using the latest evidence, signposting doctors to what test, investigation or referrals a patient may need in under 30 seconds.

In the UK over 50% of patients are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, because of this 80% will die. Early diagnosis has the potential to save thousands of lives and cost to healthcare providers as early stage cancer is cheaper to treat.

Beyond the UK cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally, with the highest rates of mortality in lower economically developed counties. In these settings, access to healthcare in geographical diverse populations creates serious challenges in detecting patients early. Our tool has the scope to provide remote access screening and triage, with the information sent to local healthcare providers.

Through training people within the rural communities on how to use the tool, we are able to help stratify patients at risk and triage patients remotely. Removing the geographical barrier created from seeking healthcare in rural communities, as well as encouraging proactive checking and review of symptomatic patients at the earliest stage which are likely to be the least disabling for the patient.

We hope to be able to support healthcare communities using evidence, data and technology innovatively to solve challenges locally

Attached resource:

This Community is Archived.

This community is no longer active as of December 2018. Thanks to those who posted here and made this information available to others visiting the site.