NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) is distributing apps and devices among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients for medics to monitor their condition remotely.
It said the move should also support some people recovering from Covid-19.
The organisation is beginning to give around 4,000 CF patients over the age of six a spirometer to measure their lung capacity and an app to share the information with their doctors. It has accelerated the planned roll out to help people stay at home during the pandemic.
Professor Andrew Menzies-Gow, NHS England national clinical director for respiratory services said: “The measurement of lung function, which normally occurs in hospitals, is essential to tracking disease progression and deciding changes in treatment.
“Enabling thousands of people with cystic fibrosis across England to provide this information without leaving their home is a vitally important step change in reducing the need for hospital attendances or admissions.”
NHSE&I is working on the implementation with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Oximeters and apps
It is also running a trial for patients with Covid-19 to spot any dip in their blood oxygen levels while they recover at home. It involves equipping them with oximeters and an app based check-in with clinicians, who can monitor their condition and identify any who need to be re-admitted to hospital.
The trial is taking place with more than 150 patients on sites in Watford, Hertfordshire, North and West London.
Tara Donnelly, chief digital officer of NHSX, said: “The feedback we are getting from patients is that the remote monitoring with clinical oversight is really reassuring to them, and they are grateful to be at home while they recover, rather than in a hospital bed.
“The clinical team is finding it helps give them very rapid feedback on their patients and they are able to keep an eye on a number of people at a glance, which is working much better for them than the previous system which relied on phone calls.”
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