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Cases Digex Co. Thrive

Bio-IT solution for early detection of cancer

Complex bio-IT solution for early oncology detection.
Thrive / ​​Exact Sciences
2018 – present
Thrive is a bio-IT startup. Bio-IT sector involves information technology, pharma industry, and lab work.

The company combines biological and chemical studies, up-to-date diagnostic methods, and digitalization of business processes. Thrive’s unique solutions increase speed, quality, and cost-effectiveness of fundamental medical studies.

The company accelerates the future where annual blood tests will be used for early cancer detection. Thrive’s mission is to integrate early cancer screening into daily medical care and provide treatment guidance.

About the client

Usually, cancer is detected too late. That’s the reason why the chances to overcome the disease are significantly limited. Current screening tests can detect breast, colon, cervix, and pulmonary cancers. However, they account for less than 1/3 of all cases.

Startup Thrive has invented a know-how method for early oncology detection. It covers most cases related to all vital organs. Early detected cancer responds to treatment much better. Thus, the chances of recovery are several times higher.

Thrive’s founders wanted to create a complex IT solution for early cancer detection based on their unique algorithm. The key mission is to make early cancer detection a part of everyday medical care. Digex Co. joined this project to create a key IT product for a venture medical startup.

The challenge

The customer came to Digex Co. with a new experimental method for cancer detection by a blood test. Thrive team mostly consisted of scientists and doctors but they lacked IT expertise. And to work with pharma companies and labs, a practical understanding of pharma subject was needed.

Leading Digex Co. developers have implemented several similar projects. We have many years of expertise in cooperation with well-known Merck KGaA. Based on our vast experience, we offered a complex IT solution with several components.

LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)
LIMS system was developed for customer’s needs. It manages lab data which channels lab studies and documents. This system optimizes lab data collection, analysis, return, and reporting. There is a strict recording of every test tube activity, including initial processing and constant tracking. The system is integrated with popular Enterprise Medical Record (EMR) solutions. EMR systems are widely used among various medical providers. EMR stores medical records, interactions with doctors and studies and related to each patient.

Integration with Epics, Sampleminded, Redox
Digex Co. development team integrated LIMS system with a number of pharma solutions used by Thrive. Among these solutions are Sampleminded, Redox and EPICS IT systems. These software programs have a limited use in the pharma industry. For example, EPICS is a program for development and management of particle accelerators, telescopes, and other big experimental units.

Big Data analysis module
After using LIMS, a data bulk is generated. Numerous results of substances interaction are taken into account. Detailed DNA sequencing is carried out using expensive and exclusive equipment. A blood test report is generated along with DNA analysis. Big Data module developed by Digex Co. collects the data into a bulk using Thrive's methodology.

Neural network
Qualified data enters a neural network. The data is processed via mathematical models based on know-how method for determining the chances of cancer. Digex Co. has set up a process to coordinate work of Big Data module with a neural network. Camunda BPM engine runs models through all scenarios using a neural network and outputs data for final reports.

Electronic reports module
Obtained data and values are verified by Thrive medical specialists. After confirmation, a report is generated in a special module developed by Digex Co. The report module collects data and generates a document that meets international medical and pharma requirements. The report indicates the data of a patient, a doctor and a medical provider that ordered this study.

Work progress

Complex IT solution performs a full cycle lab process. The system is integrated with popular Enterprise Medical Record (EMR) systems, which speeds up the process of obtaining results. Reports on early cancer detection are sent directly to electronic patient cards at clinics that order Thrive studies.

The system covers clinical studies and data qualification, providing the final result for patients and doctors. This IT solution supports international medical and pharma requirements. Strict rules on the storage and security of patient’s data are observed.

The pilot study was conducted among 10,000 women in the US. These women had no cancer before. Thrive’s blood test doubled the number of cases detected via screening. 65% of cases were detected at earlier stages than originally expected. The test results were published in Science in April 2020.

Thanks to the Digex Co. IT solution, Thrive proved the effectiveness of early cancer detection algorithm. As a result, this study became the first farsighted interventional blood test for multiple cancers, known as Multi-cancer early detection (MCED).

Thrive was recognized and acquired by Exact Sciences in 2021. Since 2022, the holding has been expanding its services based on the use of this algorithm and complex IT solution acquired together with the startup. Thrive keeps on working as a separate company in the Exact Sciences structure and conducting clinical tests for early oncology detection by a blood test.

The result

Stage 1 — Processing of primary materials
LIMS system monitors the release of test tubes and tracks the movement of drugs through test tubes with digitization of primary results.

Stage 2 — Data validation
After conducting initial tests in LIMS, it is necessary to make sure that the data from sequencers and other specialized equipment is available.

Stage 3 — Big Data analysis
A physical test tube with a blood test is divided and analyzed. Received bulk data is processed in the Big Data analysis module within several parallel flows.

Stage 4 — Coefficients analysis via neural network
Coefficients determined by Big Data analysis enter a neural network. Thousands of indicators pass through a project-related neural network, which outputs the results.

Stage 5 — Results generation and verification in LIMS
At the end of all tests, the finalizing stage starts. Final results are verified by medical specialists responsible for the quality of output data.

Stage 6 — Report generation
Then a report is generated. It answers a number of questions: whether cancer cells have been found, whether signs of cancer have been recorded, in which particular organ, and so on. The signed PDF document is sent to a medical provider.

Stage 7 — Report in hospital's recording system
Final results are sent to EMR system of a medical provider as a report. Doctors rely on the results of early oncology detection, prescribe further examinations, and plan treatment.

How it works

100 000+
patients were successfully blood tested for early detection of cancer
cancer detections recorded months earlier than expected
more cases of early detection of cancer
hours Digex Co. devotes to developing the IT solution per month

Facts and figures

IT solution for digital transformation of blood testing for MCED

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