California is on a mission to collect data on cancer from patients around the state in real time.
The effort is being conducted with the help of California pathologists, who will report cancer diagnoses to the California Cancer Registry, according to a Kaiser Health News report. The reporting is done through electronic forms, allowing for more consistency; previously, the information in the cancer database could be up to two years old.
This is the first project of its kind in the U.S., the article notes, and healthcare professionals are hopeful it will improve cancer treatments. The effort also goes along with Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, which will include a data system that will contain some of the biggest genomic datasets in the world.
“The current system is not working as well as it should,” Bob Achermann, executive director of the California Society of Pathologists, tells Kaiser. “There are long delays ... You would assume that a program that has been around as long as it has would be more sophisticated, but it is not.”
Having more up-to-date and accurate data in the registry will enable providers to look at which treatments worked best and make quicker decisions on patient care.