Lung disease affects one in five people in the UK, causing around 1 million hospital admissions a year and is the third main cause of death in the UK.
Surprised to hear these statistics? There is low public awareness of the extent of respiratory disease and the voice of people with lung conditions is not being heard. Aseptika has developed the SENSOR II App for iPads to help them track and manage their lung disease at home and better communicate with their healthcare workers when they need help.
The SENSOR II App for iPads was developed to support those with long-term respiratory conditions (LTRC) or anyone who wants to record and track a range of cardiovascular and pulmonary health parameters and self-manage their health at home.
The early awareness of signs of lung disease, such as shortness of breath, or persistent cough, are often left untreated. There is a growing consensus that the combination of earlier intervention and better self-management or self-care at home, reduces the number and severity of hospital admissions and increases quality of life for millions of us by slowing the rate at which the disease progresses.
The SENSOR suite of Apps was designed and trialled in our recent clinical trial funded by NHS England, supported by the highly acclaimed Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare programme. The SENSOR II App was designed for use by people of any age, but is especially inclusive for older patients. The colourful user interface, the step-by-step instructions and motivational messages enable the user to collect 41 vital signs, measurements and questions about their daily health, all in less than 10 minutes a day. The response of volunteers (average age 67) on our recent clinical trial has been highly positive.
The SENSOR II App allows those individuals using it as part of their individual self-care plan or volunteer patients enrolled on clinical trials, to see and learn from their longitudinal data, which is displayed as graphs and bar charts overlaying a traffic light-like system, to identify and flag-up “out-of-normal” parameters.
The daily record of their vital parameters enable them to watch for signs of declining health associated with their respiratory disease. The users also record when they have started a course of antibiotics or steroids as part of their ongoing self-care plan at home.
Vitally, the patient can share their data with the entire network of healthcare workers they are supported by, each of whom may work in different parts of the healthcare service.
Other patient self-help groups are also starting to take an interest. Elizabeth Waldock (aged 75) has COPD and runs a charity called “Hunts Breathe for Life” for others in Huntingdonshire who have respiratory diseases and represents a new breed of informed, proactive and activated patients. Waldock commented:
“Whilst we are all aware of the fact that our condition is currently incurable, it is good to know that the technology is available and is capable of improving quality of life. Forewarned is forearmed to promptly treat exacerbations. I also think that we are in a situation where we have to start helping ourselves. Our health service is struggling and the financial pressure under which it operates is unlikely to improve in the immediate future. As things stand at present the patient has little or no say in their treatment. In my opinion, technology not only has the potential to give the patient a level of self-empowerment, but ultimately to be of benefit to both the patient and the health service.”
Kevin Auton Ph.D, Managing Director of Aseptika commented:
“Since the publication of the universally welcomed “Five Year, Forward View” blueprint for the NHS, with its focus on patient empowerment, prevention and the use of technology to enable and manage the growing demands on our health services, we have seen almost an overnight increase in interest in our platform. The realisation is growing that now is the time to harness technology to work smarter rather than just harder, to help support the health and wellbeing of our population.
The SENSOR App suite are tools which can be used to facilitate a new partnership between the empowered patient and their clinical teams and compliments the new Activ8rlives v3.0 App, which shares many of the same features as SENSOR I and II but which was designed for use by the consumer.”
SENSOR I and II Apps and the Activ8rlives 3.0 App are free to download and use. There is no charge to securely and confidentially store data. The decision to share data with clinical teams remains at the discretion of the patient and is under their control at all times.