Quality vs. Quantity

umbrellas-205386_1280There are a lot of technologies out there.   How many of these are touching a patient?  A doctor?  An expert?  A family member?

Technology is the basis for results.  Without data, decisions cannot be made.  Without intuition and learning, a decision cannot be perfected.  There are a lot of technologies:  cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, but that will not save a life.  Don’t let anyone fool you into believing that a system can save a life.  I’ve been a patient, a family member, a technologist committed to cancer care, and I can tell you that technology is insufficient and far from application-ready.

There is data everywhere.  I’ve written about this before.  But just as one does not need to know all the books written in this world to add two numbers, or be successful as an expert, there is a critical mass of knowledge that can be obtained and utilized effectively.  So don’t be fooled with vastness of data that one might possess.  Your grandma told you, it’s quality not quantity that matters.  So one need not know all the medical textbooks and clinical trials in the world to be a cancer expert, but one must certainly know all the relevant practice changing trials and have experience being an expert.

Your grandma told you, it’s quality not quantity that matters.

Ultimately, it is intent.  Why is a company building a technology.  Why is a doctor providing online opinions. How credible is it.   Does it matter that there is data on every single patient ever treated in my type of cancer, if my cancer is common or unique.  Think hard. Think wise.

Intent matters.  The use of technology with experts who want to enable patients – through a service that is only focused on patients and nothing else, requires very little buzzword technology, very focused data, a small number of true experts, a family of clinical analysts and patient advocates willing to serve patients as their own, and a large number of patients in a population that is struggling to get its basic needs met in cancer care.

Navya and Tata Memorial Centre in the Indian subcontinent, in 34 developing countries in Asia and Africa.

The patented Navya Expert System, the pioneering technology in evidence and experience-based treatment decision making and the one of a kind experts at Tata Memorial Centre.

Navya is committed to holding the hand of every cancer patient and lifting them to the same pedestal as everyone else in the world:  expert cancer care for all.

Navya is the only clinically validated end-to-end decision system in cancer treatment decision making.  The Navya system is patented and the first innovator in this field.  Use Navya at navyanetwork.com/tmh

You, your family, your friend, will always have us no matter the cancer to conquer or access to technology and data.  Access is always enabled through us, and our system, service, and experts empower for real, in a format that you can consume from home!




Unstructured data versus structured data – what is better for clinical decision making, in cancer?


A lot of talk has been ongoing on unstructured data – as in this Facebook note, your blog post, a patient’s question on a support group, a doctor’s response on a newsgroup, a PDF scan copy of your aunt’s prescription, a journal article, its rebuttal, and you get the idea. There clearly is a lot of information pertaining to health and it may be an overkill, when it comes to decision making. Ask a cancer expert. They trust raw data, primary data from clinical trials that are high quality, randomized control. They trust their own experience treating large volumes of patients firsthand, observing the toxicities and managing the comorbidities (other health conditions like a weak heart or compromised liver) that may complicate a cancer treatment. And ultimately, data is only valuable when it is credible and lends itself to crisp, crystal clear, decision making: i.e. 1) sources of data matter (a randomized controlled clinical trial versus many doctors’ notes… or outcomes of patients at an expert cancer center versus self reported comments by patients on an online forum), and 2) structuring data in a way that doctors think from the get go, allows valuable information to be retrieved for decision making.

Hence, I am a fan of structuring data, which in and of itself is a complex challenge (Navya has developed an ontology for decision making, cancer by cancer, and that ontology is derived from the credible sources of data itself – like clinical trials and international guidelines and the handful of true experts themselves), rather than spinning cycles (computational power, manual processes, resources in time and money), on parsing mountains and mountains of any and all health related data and then trying very hard to derive accurate, usable, precise meaning from it for clinical decision making.

When it comes to cancer care, start with structured credible data and focus (spin wheels if you must) on analyzing it for decision making.