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“With every decision, I always look at how we can make the biggest difference.” 

Yasmine Ahmad, Digital Product Manager

 

Searching for treatment options yourself
‘A great deal of medical research is carried out all over the world. But because information about this research is complicated and spread across different databases, it's extremely difficult to search in a targeted way. Doctors and patients are therefore often unaware of the treatment options that exist. Our tech team has built a system that searches databases and stores information centrally. This allows both doctors and patients to easily search for Clinical Trials and Expanded Access Programs, which is extremely important. You're providing patients with the opportunity to search for treatment options themselves, thus giving them greater control of their own situation.’

 

Milestone: merging two databases

‘So far, we've focused on the US database because it's the biggest and it is also easy to search. We'll be adding the European one soon. It will be the first time two databases have been merged on a single platform and we hope to add others in the coming years. Although this might sound simple, it's not that straightforward. The European database, for example, is very user-unfriendly. And there's no standard format into which research results can be transferred. Not only does each country have its own language, but they also have their own method.’

Truly understanding medical texts

‘The search engine doesn't look at individual letters but actually tries to understand the search terms and medical texts in context. It analyses whether a term is a disease, for example, or a treatment. And it maps the correlation between words. For instance, breast cancer is correlated with chemotherapy. In turn, chemotherapy drugs are correlated with certain diseases. The search engine can therefore better understand medical texts and link them to a doctor's or patient's search query. Gerhard Mulder helps the system make the right connections. He might search, say, 'epilepsy' and then assesses whether the results are actually about epilepsy. This also makes the system incrementally smarter.’

Ultimately, it's all about the patients

‘In my role as product owner, I'm the link between the patient, the doctor and our technical team. What do physicians and patients really need? And what should our search engine and website look like? I investigate what would be best to develop and in what order. With every decision, I always look at how we can make the biggest difference. Because we can of course design and develop all kinds of things, but we are not patients. And ultimately, they're the ones we do it for.’

myTomorrows helps patients who have exhausted their regular treatment options. There may be a suitable treatment option that is in development. Read more and make an appointment with our medical team.

 

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