ASCO CEO Contributes to Google Blog Post on Optimism, Technology, and Health Care

Oct 21, 2019

A new post about technology and cancer care on the Google Perspectives blog includes a discussion by ASCO CEO Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, about ASCO CancerLinQ. The blog post, authored by Alphabet Inc. and Google CFO Ruth Porat, reflects her hope that sophisticated technology applications will support equitable access to high-quality cancer care.

Ms. Porat was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer in 2001 and 2004. “In the years since I first learned of my cancer,” she wrote, “there’s been remarkable progress in global health care, augmented with pioneering work from medical researchers and technology companies. I know how incredibly fortunate I am, but I also know that for far too many, a diagnosis comes too late and the best care is beyond reach.”

She outlines Google’s work in artificial intelligence (AI) and applications for health care, particularly its potential to improve detection and diagnosis for cancer and other diseases. She also describes a recent project in which Google developed a deep learning algorithm to assist pathologists with tissue assessment.

Ms. Porat emphasized the vital importance of close collaboration between those who are developing innovative technologies and those who are working in the lab and at the point of care: “Google’s research showed that the best results come when medical professionals and technology work together, rather than either working alone.”

It is a philosophy of team science and partnership that ASCO shares, and which was keenly demonstrated at the recent ASCO Breakthrough: A Global Summit for Oncology Innovators—a conference specifically designed to connect the worlds of cutting-edge technology and patient-centered cancer care.

Ms. Porat was treated for breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where Dr. Hudis was her oncologist. In the blog post, Dr. Hudis discusses ASCO CancerLinQ, a nonprofit, physician-led big data analytics platform which delivers valuable insights and tools to improve patient care by collecting and analyzing real-world cancer care data from health care IT systems across the country. Robust AI will be essential to help CancerLinQ fulfill its immense promise for physicians and patients.

When considering the pace of cancer care advances since her initial diagnosis in 2001, Ms. Porat wrote, “what medical professionals, like Dr. Hudis and his colleagues across ASCO and CancerLinQ, and engineers at companies like Google have accomplished… is remarkable.”

Read “Breast Cancer and Tech… A Reason for Optimism” on the Google Perspectives blog.

Learn more about ASCO CancerLinQ.

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