March 5th, 2018 by Charlie Blackburn | NAACCReview Home Leave a comment

Professor Jon Patrick


Jon Patrick, Ph.D
Health Language Analytics Global



Health Language Analytics Global LogoThe California legislature has enacted a regulation for all cancer service providers to provide electronic reporting to the Cancer Registry. This is expected to significantly increase the number of organisations supplying reports causing a concomitant enlarged volume of reports received annually. Furthermore across the USA there is an ageing CTR workforce without sufficient attraction of younger staff to sustain workforce numbers. This is further compounded by the ageing population who will also add to the increase of the total volume of cancer cases reported annually.

The California Cancer Registry opted to investigate the use of advance Artificial Intelligence methods to automate the identification of cancer reports and coding of the 5 core cancer attributes required from a report of: Site, Histology, Grade, Behaviour and Laterality. The CCR invited Health Language Analytics Global (HLA-G) to demonstrate the application of their technology to this problem in a project running for 15 months over 2016-17. In November 2017 the CCR decided the trials produced sufficiently accurate results to justify going live with the HORIZON system, fixing a date of 26th January 2018. The installed system has automated 100% of Reportability determinations and codifies 70% of reports, with investigations underway to improve this figure.

The success of this technology enables the CCR to investigate the automatic extraction of other content that could increase its contribution to the wider clinical community. The CCR has now requested HLA-G to provide a version that is updated for the 2018 NAACCR reporting specifications. This will be provided in March 2018.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and may not represent the official positions of NAACCR.

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