O2 mobile phone scheme helps patients with cystic fibrosis
LONDON - Patients who live with the degenerative lung condition cystic fibrosis are being helped by a specially adapted mobile phone to monitor their condition without visiting clinics.
The new phones have been provided to a number of patients by O2, the mobile phone giant. The Xda II gathers and records lung function and patients symptoms, and then sends the information in real time to clinicians.
The system is being trialled by 25 patients in the South West of England, with positive results so far. Evidence suggests that the system helps patients contribute directly to more effective management of their illness. The severity of symptoms, including severe events like pulmonary exacerbations as well as the risk of hospitalisation, is expected to be reduced.
Doctors are also becoming adept at interpreting the information in a way that allows them, in some cases, to predict deterioration in the patient's condition and to take proactive measures to reduce the severity of a clinical event.
O2 has invested £250,000 in the trial, which is set to be rolled out to 50 patients. It has been developed by Oxford-based company e-San, in conjunction with the department of engineering science at Oxford University.
Mike Short, vice-president of research and development at O2, said: "We believe that wireless solutions can offer a much wider range of patient centred benefits in healthcare, thus reducing the burden on busy hospitals and health care centres. The wireless cystic fibrosis monitoring system will provide for better management and diagnosis of this condition, and is just one example of our commitment to finding more solutions for better wireless or remote healthcare.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetic disease in Western society. There are more than 7,500 sufferers in the UK alone, and five babies are born every week with cystic fibrosis. It is a life-limiting disease that affects the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestines, and causes severe and unpleasant symptoms on a daily basis.
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