OH implements program for early lung cancer detection

Jul. 2—Owensboro Health has partnered with Eon, a Denver-based health-tech company, to implement EPM, a lung cancer screening program in an effort to increase early detection of lung cancer.

Brad Brasher, a pulmonology and critical care doctor, led the charge for the partnership, having previous training in lung cancer and lung cancer screening, according to Felicia Troutman, cardiothoracic surgery practice manager.

"Dr. Brasher came passionate about EON and the great work the team did to ensure patient adherence, automation and incidental tracking. That began our partnership discussions with the EON team," she said. "The EON program will help us to improve lung cancer screening by automating workflows allowing the clinical team to focus more on the patients. The EPM will also help our community as a whole to decrease lung cancer mortalities by helping us catch these cancers at an early, curable stage."

According to Brasher, lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the U.S.

Additionally, according to EON, Kentucky has the highest lung cancer rate in the U.S. and some of the lowest rates for survival and early diagnosis, making the program even more essential for Owensboro Health.

EPM has been shown to reduce mortality rates in lung cancer patients by up to 20% with a 98.3% accuracy rate, according to the company.

Since implementing Eon EPM, Owensboro Health has identified 1,025 incidental findings, 12 of which were diagnosed as cancerous. EPM is also helping the program manage more than 2,000 screening patients with automatic submission to the lung cancer registry.

"Often lung cancer has few to no symptoms until it has spread to other parts of the body. When detected early, however, the disease is more treatable," Brasher said. "Because we live in a region where nearly one out of every five people are current smokers, it is paramount that we focus efforts on screening all at-risk individuals in our community to lessen the burden of this terrible disease."

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360