Integrated decision support system for quality assurance in breast cancer screening based on European guidelines
Funding source: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation UEFISCDI
Contract no.: 430PED/2020
The introduction of a prevention policy for cancer is a priority in Romania, where the number of cases is continuously rising. In Romania, breast cancer has an incidence rate of 95.4 cases per 100.000 in women and a mortality rate of 33.5 per 100,000. All these facts led to the necessity of organizing population-based screening programmes, which have decreased the mortality rate by 25-30% in other countries. Population-based breast cancer screening has only been piloted to date in a relatively small part of the North-Western region of Romania and the screening at the national level has not started yet.
The QAScreen project general objective is to build a functional innovative model, based on EU standards, for supporting decision making in the quality assurance process of organized breast cancer screening programmes. One specific objective is to build an assessment system for controlling the breast cancer screening processes and ensuring their quality by computing EU recommended indicators and creating new ones based on artificial intelligence techniques for data analysis. A second specific objective is to build a decision-support system for assisting practitioners when making decisions based on digital mammography images. This system will speed up the interpretation process and therefore overcome the lack of human resources. Another obstacle in the implementation of organized screening programmes in Romania is the associated cost. To support solving this issue, a third specific objective is the development of a medical Business Intelligence system that helps minimize the costs of the screening process.
The developed quality assurance system will allow real-time adjustments within the breast cancer screening process. This is an extremely original outcome of the proposed project since no such system exists in Romania. Moreover, there is no standard assessment system agreed at European level.