A Data Exploration Tool To Personalize Cervical Cancer Screening
Socio-technical systems play an important role in public health screening programs to prevent cancer. Cervical cancer incidence has significantly decreased in countries that developed systems for organized screening engaging medical practitioners, laboratories and patients. The system automatically identifies individuals at risk of developing the disease and invites them for a screening exam or a follow-up exam conducted by medical professionals. A triage algorithm in the system aims to reduce unnecessary screening exams for individuals at low-risk while detecting and treating individuals at high-risk. Despite the general success of screening, the triage algorithm is a one-sizefits all approach that is not personalized to a patient. This can easily be observed in historical data from screening exams. Often patients rely on personal factors to determine that they are either at high risk or not at risk at all and take action at their own discretion. A Data Exploration Tool To Personalize Cervical Cancer Screening Can exploring patient trajectories help hypothesize personal factors leading to their decisions? We present Portinari, a data exploration tool to query and visualize future trajectories of patients who have undergone a specific sequence of screening exams. The web-based tool contains (a) a visual query interface (b) a backend graph database of events in patients’ lives (c) trajectory visualization using sankey diagrams. We use Portinari to explore diverse trajectories of patients following the Norwegian triage algorithm. The trajectories demonstrated variable degrees of adherence to the triage algorithm and allowed epidemiologists to hypothesize about the possible causes.