Sun Life to offer AI-aided second opinion for oncology patients

Sun Life’s group benefits plan members will now get a second opinion on a very serious issue.

Teladoc Health Inc. has made Best Doctors’ oncology insight service available in Canada for Sun Life members through the extended health-care plan. The service allows patients with a cancer diagnosis to obtain a medical review from a world-renowned expert oncologist who also has access to the artificial intelligence computing power of IBM’s Watson for Oncology.

“Providing our members with access to the finest medical expertise is a critical component to care,” said Jean-Michel Lavoie, assistant vice-president of product development for group benefits at Sun Life Financial Canada, in a press release. “Best Doctors’ oncology insight helps our members ensure their treatment options have been carefully reviewed and they’re receiving the best care for their diagnosis.”

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The oncologist reviews medical records, retests pathology results and checks the latest clinical research using IBM Watson for Oncology, which evaluates clinical data of the group member and dozens of clinical attributes that pertain to the group member’s diagnosis.

After review, the oncologist validates the diagnosis and provides personalized treatment recommendations based on evidence.

“With oncology insight, experts can use augmented intelligence from IBM Watson for Oncology to create personalized treatment recommendations, empowering patients and physicians with actionable data that can help them make more informed decisions,” said Dr. Lewis Levy, chief medical officer for Teladoc Health. “With the peer-reviewed literature and evidence-based references that Watson presents, oncologists can quickly access and review treatment options that they may not have otherwise considered. We’re proud to work with Sun Life Financial to help their members diagnosed with cancer.”

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