It’s a perfect example of how technology can help enhance healthcare. Remote monitoring for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy helps to better manage side effects and improve quality of life, according to research published by The BMJ. The international study found the approach can provide a safe, secure and real-time system that optimises symptom management and supports patients to remain at home. Remote monitoring can also be a source of reassurance during worrying times.
Inhealthcare, a leading provider of digital health services, has developed a ‘virtual ward’ for cancer patients using its tried-and-tested remote monitoring technologies that have helped deliver care to more than two million people across the UK. The company’s senior account manager Amy Frith is presenting the new service at this month’s Oncology Convention, a showcase for the latest innovations in cancer treatments and research.
The service was co-designed with NHS clinicians to provide support at home to cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy. It captures vital signs readings and any side effects that patients might be experiencing as a result of the treatment. Patients relay the information to clinical teams via a choice of digitally inclusive communications channels. The readings are stored in GP systems and available to authorised professionals. If any fall out of range or side effects flagged, the service generates an alert for clinicians to follow up with the patient. This means patients can be prioritised by need and sent advice on managing any side effects. It also lessens administrative workload, freeing up capacity within oncology teams.
Importantly, the service helps vulnerable patients to avoid unnecessary trips to clinic. More generally, cutting unnecessary travel can help the NHS along the road to meeting net zero targets.
Inhealthcare is based in North Yorkshire and was founded a decade ago with the ambition of helping to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the health service. Earlier this year, the company won the national contract to scale up Scotland’s remote monitoring pathways after an NHS evaluation found its approach improved access to health services and reduced health inequalities with more than twice as many users from disadvantaged areas. Inhealthcare supports more than 50 NHS trusts across England and provides digital health services to the five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.
During the pandemic, Inhealthcare delivered the UK’s largest remote monitoring programme, providing life-saving care to more than 25,000 Covid patients with the Oximetry@home service across southern England. Clinicians are using the same infrastructure to deliver virtual wards and help patients self-manage other conditions such as hypertension, COPD, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, depression, malnutrition – and cancer. To find out how we can help your oncology team, please email amy.Frith@Inhealthcare.co.uk
* Bryn Sage is chief executive of Inhealthcare and a member of trade group techUK’s health and social care council
Take a look at Oncology cancer service brochure here