Belong.Life launches Tara - an AI SaaS matching cancer patients to clinical trials

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags AI Artificial intelligence Clinical trials Data management Patient centricity

Built upon seven years of real-world patient journey data, Belong.Life has recently announced the launch of its software as a service (SaaS)-based conversational artificial intelligence (AI) cancer clinical trial matching platform.

The platform, called Tara, aimed at health providers and contract research organizations (CROs), has been designed to speed-up the process of matching patients with eligible clinical trials which the company says will result in increased recruitment and significantly lower costs.

This is the second product in Belong’s AI Health Mentor ‘suite of solutions’, following the launch of Dave, the world’s first conversational AI oncology mentor.

Using the company’s conversational AI technology, encourages patients to proactively engage in conversation, Belong says. It requests essential information that includes diagnosis, cancer type, mutation and treatment history. It can scan relevant medical files to collect information and treatment history to help with clinical trial matching.

Available as a SaaS solution for providers, hospitals, health systems, CROs and other organizations, the technology can be embedded into websites, mobile apps or text messaging platforms to enable easy communication with opt-in patients.

Co-founder and CTO of Belong.Life Irad Deutsch, said: “We are dedicated to creating effective and responsible AI solutions that are tailored to the unique needs and challenges of the healthcare industry.

“Belong’s proprietary conversational AI technology, built upon seven years of real-world patient journey data, along with our proven success in clinical trial matching, are testament to our commitment to transform healthcare. Tara is a comprehensive solution that provides patients with empathetic and precise support while enabling providers to engage in new effective ways to meet their goals."

Following the user’s conversation with Tara, a summary is sent to the Belong clinical trial matching team who utilize additional Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to analyze all available cancer clinical trials around the globe in real time to match patients based on their unique situation and geographical location.

The platform also allows health systems to direct patients to in-house resources and clinical trials. The company said patients are generally matched to relevant clinical trials within three days and can be connected directly to managing sites.

“Since our founding, Belong has provided clinical trial matching services to more than 30,000 patients,” said Eliran Malki, CEO and Co-founder of Belong.Life.

“Tara is a natural extension of our services, helping to optimize clinical trial matching to benefit stakeholders with increased patient recruitment, improved randomization, and reduced costs and logistical challenges. Tara will enable more patients around the world to access clinical trials.”

In its research the company found there are currently more than 136,000 clinical trials available in the US, but says existing databases are hard to navigate, and participation criteria often difficult to decipher, making it challenging for patients to identify relevant trials.

Additionally, Belong found many patients didn’t know that clinical trials are an option. A study published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) found that 46% of surveyed oncology patients were not aware that clinical trials may be a viable option.

Raanan Berger, director of the Jusidman Cancer Center at Sheba Medical Center, said: “Clinical trial participation is an important treatment option for cancer patients, sometimes the only option, and crucial for medical advancement.

“The process of finding relevant trials for patients can be long and complex, often requiring supplementary assistance alongside the primary care provided by oncologists. Belong's technology is well positioned to make a positive impact on patients, providers and the wider healthcare ecosystem by facilitating broader access to potentially lifesaving treatments.”

Belong added that its patient-centric oncology app, Belong Beating Cancer Together, provides support groups, access to medical professionals, customized educational content, and disease management tools, including a digital medical binder and clinical trial matching service. Its AI oncology mentor, Dave, has already received engagement from hundreds of thousands of cancer patients and caregivers, receiving positive reviews and feedback. 

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