Patients suffering chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, may soon be able to connect with their healthcare advisors over a software interface in the mobile phones, and better manage their ailments.
The interface works as a patient support system and is personalised by inputting a patient's medical records and treatment requirements.
The system then helps the patient anything from the reminding him the time of medication to determining dosage of medicine.
“Empowering the patient to manage their own condition through communication with a ‘remote nurse’ using shared data and their own mobile phone results in a reduction in unplanned hospital admissions is the aim of the project,” said Lionel Tarassenko, director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBE) at the Oxford University, UK.
He was delivering the final round of the Indian Institute of Science-UK lecture series at IIT-B on Wednesday.
Tarassenko is leading the project launched by the IBE, which found that mobile phones would play an increasingly crucial role in management of chronic diseases. Studies have shown impressive results on various health indices of patients who used a software-based disease management system in the UK.
In a country, such as India, with increasing number of mobile phone users, the project could have a bigger impact.
The National Health Services in the UK is validating the software to be used in the mobile healthcare delivery system, or mHealth.
“mHealth will also facilitate the early discharge of patients from hospital through a home-based monitoring programme,” said Tarassenko. “This is a multi-disciplinary venture that is here to stay as it will enable one of the key objectives of 21st century medicine to be met: the delivery of healthcare away from hospital and closer to the patient’s home.”