Does living near a park affects a cancer patient's quality of life? Is a sunny, warm day a factor that will help a patient cope with side effects? Can we fight comorbidities with exercise? These are just some of the questions related to the Quality-of-Life of cancer patients and what types of interventions will be beneficial for each one!
It is evident that in order to back up the value of these factors and make use of them for the well-being of patients, we need relevant and credible data. Actually, nowadays, data are everywhere. They can be derived from wearables, smartphones, and of course open sources. ASCAPE decided to include these types of measures related to the Quality-of-Life of individuals in general and cancer patients in particular. For example, physical activity is among the most beneficial interventions, so variables such as daily steps and calories burned are obtained for smartwatches and included in the ASCAPE common data model. Heart rate and sleep quality are some other parameters we measure. On the other hand, public open sources related to weather conditions affecting patients' areas of residence are also exploited by our data model. The aim here is to test the correlation between weather conditions and specific disease progression and/or recovery.
“We need to measure everyday factors that can benefit patients' Quality-of-Life. The question is how we can capture the data and turn it into useful insights”
Building the bridge
It sounds reasonable to make use of this kind of data, but how do we collect and store the retrieved information in ASCAPE? The data coming from mobile devices is collected with the help of a Device Data Adapter. In a similar fashion, weather data from public open sources are retrieved and collected by a Weather Data Adapter, which is a mechanism that periodically retrieves weather information based on a set of parameters such as the city ID and name, area zip code, or a specific set of geographic coordinates.
The right partner, in the right job
A great fit for this job was UBITECH, a software house, systems integrator, and technology provider. It is a leading example, among companies in Greece, that has heavily invested in research activities to expand its knowledge and capabilities around security-enhanced solutions for information and data exchange, service invocation, and communication. With a background in cloud technologies, cyber security, risk management, as well as knowledge engineering and data management, UBITECH has built Data Adapters that offer abstract and unified APIs capable of supporting data acquisition from a variety of data sources and data providers such as healthcare organizations, IoT devices or sensors, public open data sources through a dynamic configuration to establish the required communication between systems.
Driving innovations to market
UBITECH's Data Adapters are currently used by ASCAPE clinical trials and data provider partners to collect intelligence from patients and open sources so as to be streamed to the ASCAPE platform ultimately making a difference to patients' quality of life. However, thanks to their abstract nature, these adapters are market agnostic, meaning they can be used by several market verticals to acquire data from a wide range of data sources. For our partner UBITECH, this is of real value as they can integrate their findings into existing and future business offerings as well as use their expertise to build future innovative products.