ZeroDash – Accelerating Precision Medicine for Childhood Cancer

  • 2023

  • Service
    Commercial Services

Designed By:

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The world-leading ZERO Childhood Cancer Program (ZERO) aims to provide the best chance of survival for all Australian children with cancer, by personalising their treatment plan. Designing ZeroDash has overcome their major data interpretation bottleneck, enabling the rapid interpretation of vast amounts of complex genomic and medical data in real-time.

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  • Expanding the ZERO program to cover all ~1000 children newly diagnosed with cancer each year presented a daunting challenge. The current approach requires on average 96 hours of careful manual analysis by expert scientists and doctors to curate the vast amount of data for each patient, making the process time-consuming and expensive. To address this, the process needed to be streamlined and made more efficient and reproducible, with reduced turnaround times and costs. By optimising the data interpretation challenge, ZERO can make the benefits of precision medicine accessible to more children, leading to earlier diagnoses and more personalised treatments.

  • ZERO found that none of the commercially available platforms were sophisticated enough to handle their complex cancer genome dataset, leading them to form a partnership with We Discover. In a fruitful 42-week collaboration, We Discover iteratively designed a customised and globally unique solution that met ZERO's design specifications for analysing and visualising cancer genome data. The new system is secure, scalable, and user-friendly, allowing for the seamless integration of dozens of diverse data sources. As a result, data curation and interpretation have been significantly streamlined, with reporting efficiency and turnaround times improving by over 50%.

  • Beyond the obvious health benefits, the economic potential of precision medicine is enormous, with an estimated market value of $175.6B by 2030. However, data analysis and interpretation remain significant barriers to its widespread adoption. This project addressed these challenges as ZeroDash will enable ZERO to increase patient enrolment by eightfold with only a 25% increase in personnel. The platform has significant potential to expand further, perhaps to all 151,000 newly diagnosed adult cancer patients each year in Australia, or to support developing countries maximise their very limited healthcare personnel to realise the benefits of precision medicine.

  • Australia's approach to precision medicine, pioneered through ZERO, was named one of the top 10 medical advances in the field globally in 2020 ( However, the complexity of the data analysis process and the need to integrate disparate medical data are barriers to others adopting our approach. The ZeroDash platform addresses these issues by providing an easy-to-use solution that could be shared and deployed, either through collaboration or commercial partnerships. This solution democratises precision medicine by enabling others to benefit from our comprehensive genomic testing approach. In developing countries, most patients lack access to essential diagnostic tests and cheap and effective treatments, resulting in low survival rates. There are many factors including lack of resources, local expertise, and community awareness. The ZeroDash platform has the long-term potential to address these issues by allowing developing countries to benefit from precision medicine programs tailored to their available resources. By upskilling healthcare providers and making precision medicine more accessible, more patients can receive accurate diagnoses and effective treatments, ultimately increasing survival rates. This is a significant step forward in addressing the inequities in healthcare and improving health outcomes for all.