At the end of 2020, I was delighted to take up the opportunity to join Inspirata as its business unit lead for cancer informatics. My excitement on appointment was twofold:
First, there was the professional dimension. In a relatively short period, Inspirata has cultivated an enviable global reputation for innovation in digital pathology and cancer AI that had seen many of us in the industry, sit up and take notice. I was being presented with a perhaps once-in-a-career chance to help take a company already going places and assist in navigating it to the next phase in its growth.
Secondly, there was the personal draw. Inspirata’s raison d'être is helping patients, and the clinicians they trust, make every moment matter in the fight against cancer. Being a physician this mission, and the organizational culture on which it is underpinned, completely aligned with my own personal goals and experiences. I lost my mother to cancer and my wife is a two-time survivor currently undergoing treatment. Simply put, the company, and the role intrigued me on a professional and personal level.
I don’t think it would be controversial to suggest that our collective understanding of the root causes of cancer, and how best to diagnose and treat it, will only come from the surfacing of accurate and complete pathology and oncology clinical data. Likewise, that new breakthroughs in research are often proportional to how quickly high quality cancer data can be returned to disease registries in a format which facilitates immediate processing and analysis. And yet, my discussions with hospital executives, and the dedicated cancer registrars most intimately involved in the timely compilation of this data, have uniformly revealed that without significant assistance, executing on this requirement is easier said than done.
What I find most intriguing is how Inspirata has stepped up to address this challenge. Inspirata’s oncology AI solutions automatically interrogate medical reports at each step in the cancer pathway, abstract the most salient data points needed and then syndicate them, in real-time, directly to the cancer registry in an end-to-end workflow of mere seconds. Furthermore, independent studies validate this AI as abstracting these datasets with accuracy and specificity scores of 99% and 98% respectively (far surpassing human performance while removing discrepancies caused by operator variability) and significantly reducing the overall cost for cancer centers and laboratories of ensuring registry conformance. More incredible still, is the fact that this AI, productized in a solution named E-Path, is already utilized by 400+ institutions around the globe, and in partnership with NCI, has been quietly processing over a third of all cancer cases in the United States!
With the E-Path development team based in Toronto, perhaps we can chalk the lack of fanfare around the solution's achievements and sustained success down to the oft-cited Canadian modesty. However, with E-Path comprehensively road-tested and delivering excellent results at every site in which it has been deployed (zero churn across all sites), you’ll forgive my unbridled enthusiasm at the tremendous opportunity this represents. I couldn't be more proud to lead the team who has developed such an innovative cancer registry automation solution!
In fact, such are my levels of enthusiasm, one of my first actions as lead has been to instruct the team, and my colleagues in marketing, to get the message out about E-Path. With even some of our clients not entirely aware of the full capabilities of this solution, it is imperative that the industry knows how easily we could deploy E-Path to all the sites of which an institution or network is comprised, and indeed ensure that all national and state registries get immediate and cost effective access to the disease data they so desperately crave. We have also introduced a time-limited commercial incentive to make this graduation easier. We really want to ensure there has never been a better time to come aboard.
Again, if it wasn’t immediately obvious already, I couldn’t be more thrilled, as I reach the 100 day mark of my tenure, to be a part of the Inspirata project. Quite unbelievably, E-Path is genuinely just one example of several intelligent automation cancer solutions which leave me so excited and chomping at the bit.
If you are an existing or potential customer or partner reading this with whom I haven’t yet spoken, please do get in touch as I would dearly welcome hearing from you. Otherwise, I look forward to providing you with a further update on my E-Path to Inspirata Enlightenment in due course.