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Medical University of Vienna uses remote monitoring to improve quality of life for cancer patients

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Docobo remote monitoring used by Medical University of Vienna to improve quality of life for cancer patients

DOC@HOME, the remote monitoring solution from Docobo, is being used by the Medical University of Vienna to remotely monitor cancer patients’ symptoms during treatment, while patients are at home. This support is seeing excellent outcomes and optimising treatment. 

Following a highly successful EU project, eSMART, this innovative technology demonstrated that the use of telemedicine led to a significant improvement compared to the previous standard of care. This was based on a study of 829 participants, 140 of whom were enrolled at the Medical University of Vienna.

The haematology outpatient clinic is using DOC@HOME to enable cancer patients to monitor their symptoms and collect and transfer routine data via remote monitoring from the comfort of their own home. Patients use the app on smartphones or tablets to monitor their symptoms, and data is sent automatically to a clinical hub in real time.  The data is processed and any thresholds exceeded will result an alert being sent to the clinician. An amber alert would indicate a need for action, while a red alert indicates more serious symptoms. These are then highlighted to clinical staff and acted upon. Additionally, when patients come in for their planned patient consultation, all symptoms are available for review and can be discussed.

The remote monitoring forms part of patient-reported outcomes or PROs. The use of PROs contributes to better care by monitoring the progress of treatment, supporting enhanced care planning and decision-making and setting treatment goals. PROs can also contribute to quality monitoring and benchmarking.

Dr. Simone Lubowitzki of the Medical University of Vienna says: ‘Using this tried and tested technology is optimising treatment for patients and enabling better symptom control.  We wanted to use Docobo’s technology as they have been in remote monitoring since 2001 and we were impressed with the results from the eSMART trial. Remote monitoring can have a positive effect on cancer patient survival, while relapses can be identified more quickly, leading to optimised therapy.  We also use the app to collect validated and established questionnaires on disease-related quality of life for patients. Patients really appreciate DOC@HOME as they can access evidence-based general information about cancer and chemotherapy at any time via the app. For clinicians, the app is creating more time to care for patients, as all the data is available at the touch of a button.

We are also currently in the process of programming and expanding the app so that not only patients with cancer, but also other diseases are covered. This should make things easier for both patients and the respective clinical department. In this way, the next step towards personalised medicine and care is being taken.’

Adrian Flowerday, Managing Director at Docobo says: ‘This project has demonstrated the flexibility of DOC@HOME, particularly with its ability to adopt to any language, which is resulting in excellent outcomes internationally, as well as in the UK. With its ability to adopt to any language DOC@HOME has been designed for use globally and also for the support of complex conditions, long term conditions and multimorbidity.’

‘Using this tried and tested technology is optimising treatment for patients and enabling better symptom control. Remote monitoring can have a positive effect on cancer patient survival, while relapses can be identified more quickly, leading to optimised therapy. Patients really appreciate DOC@HOME as they can access evidence-based general information about cancer and chemotherapy at any time via the app. For clinicians, the app is creating more time to care for patients, as all the data is available at the touch of a button.

Dr. Simone LubowitzkiMedical University of Vienna

Background The EU grant study eSMART was carried out at twelve clinics in five European countries between 2014 and 2019. The randomised controlled study design enabled a direct comparison of two groups; both received the usual standard of care, while one group also received a smart phone rental. The Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS;) was used, which was first developed in 2005 in a Scottish oncology centre together with patients and has been continuously further developed in studies, including in eSMART.

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