Transformation Directorate

Digital resource to assist primary care with diagnosing and managing cancer patients

NICE NG12 cancer guidance offers clear advice around when patients should be investigated for cancer. It is a comprehensive but very long document and not all clinicians may be aware of the detail within it.


Patients often present with vague symptoms to primary care clinicians and these may indicate a suspected cancer diagnosis. It is not always obvious when a symptom, or combination of symptoms, should trigger investigations to exclude cancer.


In order to improve the early diagnosis of cancer, a solution was required that offered real-time guidance to clinicians when a patient presents with a possible cancer diagnosis.

Solution and impact

Ardens offers a solution that guides clinicians through NICE NG12 guidance in real time during consultations, with alerts that warn clinicians when a potential cancer diagnosis has been missed. Ardens is deployed across 4,200 GP practices in England and feedback from practices is that patients are having cancer diagnosed earlier and diagnoses that may have been missed are being identified.


  • The solution runs inside EMIS Web and SystmOne and monitors clinical data as it is typed


  • Real-time monitoring of coding errors when making cancer diagnoses
  • Real-time alerting for clinicians when a potential cancer diagnosis is missed
  • Fast-track safety netting system to ensure urgent referrals, urgent diagnostics, and high-risk symptoms are in place to follow-up
  • Palliative care module to assist with creation of future care plans. This also offers guidance on prescribing for syringe drivers
  • Cancer screening searches to help improve uptake of cancer screening


Ardens is designed to be used in primary care on EMIS Web and SystmOne.

Key learning points

It is essential that the system is quick and simple to use with minimal false-positives.

Key figures/quotes

“We are really happy with Ardens. Within a week of implementing Ardens templates, an alert popped up as I was entering a new diabetes code for a 68-year-old gentleman. Ardens triggered a clinical safety warning and pointed out the NICE guidance for pancreatic cancer. The patient confirmed no weight loss but some abdominal discomfort (which he would not have told us about otherwise). A CT scan subsequently confirmed malignancy.”
Dr Amar Ahmed, Wilmslow Health Centre, Cheshire

Find out more

Learn more about Ardens

Key contact

Dr Miles Carter, Ardens EMIS CEO