Lessons on AI Support for Cancer Care

May 2024.

A guest article by Dr. Daniel Vorobiof, Chief Medical Director at Belong.Life.

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in oncology care has allowed for unprecedented levels of support and guidance for cancer patients and their families. With the launch of Dave—the world’s first conversational oncology mentor—one year ago, we have seen the many benefits that an instant, empathetic, and valid AI mentor provides to people living with cancer.

Along with the challenging reality of a cancer diagnosis, patients must navigate a multitude of complexities including treatment, side effects, and new limitations to their lifestyle. A reliable AI solution can provide patients with reassurance through emotional support and relevant information about all aspects of their cancer journey, from diagnosis to treatment planning, around the clock.

The Questions Asked

Analyzing the questions Dave was asked over the past year, we can gain insight into the most pressing concerns that cancer patients face. The two most common types of questions the AI chatbot was asked focused on side effects of cancer therapeutics, and the effectiveness and risks of treatments or alternative options.

Questions ranged from general: “What are the best treatments in immunotherapy,” to specific oncological situations—whether for breast cancer, metastatic pancreatic cancer, or other cancer types, stages, and mutations. Patients sought to gain an understanding of the different side effects of similar drugs and inquired about unproven or disproven alternative medicine treatments.

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