Can you see yourself living in a future where there was less of a need to visit a doctor?
As many as four UK National Health Service trusts plan to roll out the two new medical apps which are currently being trialled in Oxford University Hospital. What makes the apps unique is the ability they have to transmit patient data from either a tablet or smartphone directly to clinicians and reduce hospital and GP visits.
One of the two apps trialled is GDm-health. The app has been designed to help manage the treatment of gestational diabetes a condition which affects about 1 in 10 pregnant women. The app enables women to send blood glucose readings taken at home directly to their diabetes clinician. A two year trial at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust found a reduction in the number of patient visits by 25 per cent.
The second app trialled was designed to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) a condition that affects approximately between 1 million and 1.5 million people in the UK. In a 12 month clinical trial the app had reduced hospital admissions by 17% and GP visits by 40%.
Lionel Tarassenko of Oxford University Institute of Biomedical Engineering who led the development of the technology stated it took eight years to develop the apps but what was more important was gaining ethical clearance and credibility with clinical colleagues and working alongside the NHS. Especially as the app market is inundated with medical apps designed to manage a number of conditions.