Summary

Macmillan Cancer Support commissioned the DHI in collaboration with Abertay University to apply gaming theory combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop a visual tool to show the service needs of patients with cancer in the future. This tool will have both patient facing and health professional facing interfaces, aiming to ultimately offer a tailored digital referral service for individuals, enable better planning and utilisation of resources for services, and a more personalised service for patients and carers.

Impact & Value

The user-friendly tool will enable Macmillan staff to:

  • Offer a tailored referral service to the individual;

  • Better plan and utilise resource effectively;

  • Offer better service to the patient.

Progress to date

The technical development of an AI Application was led by Abertay and user interfaces were explored with Macmillan staff in a series of User Testing workshops led by the DHI Design Team, between December 2018 and April 2020.

The workshops gathered insights from link workers and management from across five local authorities. The iPad AI app was also tested with people affected by cancer at the Macmillan Cancer Voices meeting in Dundee on 6 August 2019.

The Macmillan-DHI-Abertay partnership is an innovative application of games technology and data mining to explore optimisation of highly complex service provision for individuals living with cancer. DHI were instrumental in recognising the application of expertise at Abertay to a hitherto unexplored challenge for Macmillan. The project has already delivered new insights into patterns in service use and DHI has been central to the project success through both their partnering role and effective management.

Janice Preston

Macmillan Head of Services, Scotland

Next steps

The DHI and Macmillan have co-authored a research publication to support knowledge exchange.

We look forward to collaborating with Macmillan on Stage 2 of the project to further develop the prototype application and enable testing and iterative enhancements for service use. This work will also explore additional functionality and implementation of the AI system.

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