February 26, 2024

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Digital health tech brings cancer clinical trials closer to rural Victorians

The Teletrial model with digital technology will enable more people with cancer, from rural and regional Victoria, to access clinical trials closer to home.

According to a recent press release, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s (VCCC) Teletrials Program in Bendigo and Albury Wodonga was made possible thanks to the A$ 1.5 million Andrews Labor Government funding boost.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the launch of the program, which will also extend to other parts of regional Victoria.

Clinical trials are the gateway to accessing cutting-edge cancer therapies.

But, fewer than 5% of Victorians outside Melbourne participate in them because of the need for travel and time away from home.

Cancer patients living in regional and rural Victoria experience several disadvantages including lower survival rates in some parts of the state.

Reasons may include socioeconomic issues and access to treatment.

Advantages of Teletrials

The VCCC Teletrials Program has built partnerships between metropolitan and regional centres to help more Victorians access the trials run by leading cancer hospitals.

In addition, the program will work with regional and metro cancer clinical trials staff to establish a clear framework for conducting a teletrial in a regional setting.

Teletrials can offer rural and regional cancer patients access to metropolitan clinical trials without the need to take extra time off work, travel long distances and pay for accommodation.

Teletrials are part of the Victorian Government’s A$ 20 million funding boost to increase the number of cancer trials being run in the state.

The program provides cancer patients in rural and regional Victoria better access to clinical trials with the use of digital health technology.

This is about making sure all Victorians can access clinical trials, no matter where they live.

Increasing access to cancer clinical trials for regional Victorians is a strategic priority for the VCCC and its members.

Teletrials provide an opportunity to overcome disparities. Patients can avoid the need to travel, enabling access to new treatments and improving patient outcomes.

The Teletrials program will also address barriers to support mechanisms for regional oncologists, enabling networking and improving capability.

Other Projects

On top of the Teletrials Program, A$ 3.7 million has been granted for four new projects to help more than 6,000 patients in accessing world-leading trials through the VCCC Investigator-Initiated Trial Capacity Building Program.

The four projects focus on improving radiotherapy before surgery, pain management, combining treatments to enhance success of blood stem cell transplantation and better anaesthetics during surgery.

Recent data have shown that in 2017, 34,557 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer and 10,955 died from the disease. Moreover, there are 95 new diagnoses each day.

Victoria has some of the best cancer survival rates in the world, which is a testament to the state’s proud track record of investing in world-class cancer prevention, treatment and research.

The five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with cancer has increased from 46% in 1982 to 68% in 2016.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on the first digital specialist degree to tackle cancer in Victoria.

The Master of Cancer Sciences will be delivered through an online suite of graduate programs in cancer research, education and care.

It is Australia’s first cancer-specific, multidisciplinary, flexible wholly online Master’s program for health professionals who care for cancer patients, and just one of two such online programs in the world.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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