The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC) announces a collaboration with Driver, a first-of-its-kind global technology platform that connects cancer patients to the best treatments, which launched today in the United States and China. Driver’s platform enables any patient, anywhere in the world, to access treatment options across an unprecedented network of cancer centers without leaving home.
While there have never been more cancer treatments available, patients and their doctors are unaware of all of these options, and consequently patients are not living as long as they could be given the treatments that exist today. Driver’s platform eliminates this knowledge gap, empowering patients to access the best treatments all over the world.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Chinese National Cancer Center are the founding members of Driver’s global network. To date, more than thirty leading cancer centers in addition to SKCC comprise Driver’s network, including the Cleveland Clinic; Mayo Clinic; Massachusetts General Hospital; University of California, San Francisco; University of California, Los Angeles; Duke University; University of North Carolina and Emory.
In order to provide patients with extensive cancer treatment options and information, Driver comprehensively processes medical records and tumor data, then offers current evidence-based treatment guidelines as well as information on clinical trials for which a patient is potentially eligible that are being offered at any of the cancer centers in Driver’s network.
“As the only NCI-designated cancer center in Center City Philadelphia, the collaboration is aligned to our mission for improving access for all patients in the region to the most advanced cancer care. The Driver relationship will further potentiate the ability of SKCC to provide patients with comprehensive, personalized cancer treatment options, including access to our innovative clinical trials,” said Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, Enterprise Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.
“In a world of Amazon, Airbnb, and other technology platforms that have revolutionized our ability to access products and services, consumers deserve the same transformative power of these next-generation marketplaces when they are facing cancer and require treatment,” said Dr. William R. Polkinghorn, Co-founder and CEO of Driver, and a radiation oncologist formerly on the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“In 2018, cancer patients are still required to enter a brick-and-mortar hospital and interact with a doctor just to learn their treatment options,” said Dr. Petros Giannikopoulos, Co-founder and President of Driver. “This is a problem because different hospitals have different treatments, different doctors have different knowledge, and consequently too many patients fail to receive the best available treatment.”
Driver’s platform occupies the empty space between the patient and the hospital. Patients join the platform using a mobile app, through which Driver obtains consent to acquire the necessary information -- medical records and tumor samples -- to connect them to their best treatment options. The patient receives treatment options for both guideline-based standard of care and clinical trials available through Driver’s network. Patients have the opportunity to review their treatment options over video with an expert oncologist, and then can select a hospital within the Driver network for further evaluation. Driver arranges the appointment at each patient’s hospital of choice and delivers their records and other information required for the evaluation.
To extract the information from patients’ records and tumor samples, Driver’s platform utilizes a combination of proprietary software and hardware, including two automated clinical laboratories, one in San Francisco and a second in Shantou, China. Driver validated its treatment matching software in collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute, the results of which were presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In addition, both Driver’s U.S. and China laboratories are certified under the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program, and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the gold standard in laboratory accreditation.
Driver’s lead investor is Horizons Ventures (Li Ka Shing), with whom Driver has partnered from its inception to build its platform in China in parallel to the United States. From Driver’s software tools to its automated laboratory to its cloud-agnostic software architecture, Driver processes patient information in China identically to patient information in the United States. With headquarters in both Shanghai and San Francisco, Driver is the first technology platform to co-launch in the United States and China.