With an incidence of more than 18 million new cases each year, cancer leads patients to face several challenges, which can impact on their mental health. Studies show that depression and anxiety affect up to 20% of cancer patients, compared to the average 5% of the general population.
Healthcare personnel can easily identify signs of anxiety and depression but this becomes harder when patient autonomy increases and when the follow-up process focuses more on the patient’s oncological profile, thereby overlooking survivors’ psychological and emotional well-being.
FAITH, a project funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, believes in a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and survivorship. FAITH is working towards creating an innovative solution, based on the latest AI technologies, to support the mental wellbeing of post treatment cancer survivors. UPMC in Ireland is proud to be the main Irish pilot and trial site working with partners to assist in the development of this new technology.
The solution that FAITH proposes will combine passive activity tracking and proactive user engagement to track targeted depression markers in cancer survivors. It will rely on an App installed on patients’ mobile devices to gather information. Based on this information, FAITH will help to identify mental health downward trajectories without the need for face-to-face consultations. The FAITH solution will offer an effective way of monitoring users’ mental health conditions. In addition, it will inform the users’ healthcare team of possible negative trends, allowing well-timed intervention. This means that cancer survivors who begin to experience mental health declines will receive attention from their healthcare services as early as possible, thus improving their quality of life, whereas, without our solution, they may have delayed access to appraisal or treatments.
But how does the solution that FAITH proposes really work to benefit cancer patients? You can find out more here by listening to the testimony of the very people working in the project. Watch the video below to find out.
The FAITH research project – YouTube