With an incidence of more than 18 million new cases each year, cancer leads patients to face several challenges, which can degrade their mental health. For example, depression and anxiety affect up to 20% of cancer patients, compared to the average 5% of the general population, studies say.
Healthcare personnel can easily identify signs of anxiety and depression while the patient is followed in consultation; but this becomes harder when the person recovers some autonomy being at home. Moreover, the follow-up process might focus on patients’ oncological profile, thus overlooking other important indicators of their recovery; such as, their mental health status. This can result in neglecting survivors’ psychological and emotional well-being, leading to a diminished quality of life.
The FAITH solution
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 well-being of post treatment cancer survivors. The solution 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 keeping an eye on 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?
Hear it from the testimony of the very people working in the project: watch the video below to find out.