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London hospital pilots Apple watch app in chemotherapy

Published on 15/05/15 at 09:47am
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Through the wearable patients will be able to track their symptoms and temperature

King's College Hospital in London is piloting a scheme whereby cancer patients moving through chemotherapy treatments are given an Apple Watch to manage their medication. 

Running a chemotherapy app made by British firm Medopad, patients will be able to receive notifications through their wrist via Apple’s tech – with the aim being to improve treatment adherence.

Through the app patients will also be able to track their symptoms and temperature in order to submit to doctors easily, should that be required. Its makers say medical staff will have access to patient’s activity levels which are captured by the watch’s accelerometer – through Medopad’s software. 

Dr Rich Khatib who is Medopad's chief executive told Wareable: "The doctors who helped us to develop the app at King's are so excited. The tricky thing is how to integrate HealthKit information into the systems that doctors and hospitals are using but Medopad takes care of this."

HealthKit has already been rolled out across a number of US hospitals to help doctors monitor patients with chronic conditions, which it does by gathering data from various apps on Apple devices: such as Motion 24/7 Sleeptracker and blood pressure monitor Health Mate. 

Apple has only recently launched its digital wearable device along with a ResearchKit platform that allows apps to be used in medical research. 

ResearchKit works alongside Apple's HealthKit software, which allows iPhones to work with health and fitness apps that gather information on weight, blood pressure and glucose levels for example.

New guidelines were released in April that will require apps developed for ResearchKit to be approved by an independent ethics board. Unfazed by such regulations with its latest offering, Medopad says on its website it is now ready for mass deployment. 

“Technology integration enables hospitals to effortlessly manage large-scale deployment of mobile devices. These capabilities give hospital IT departments the ability to securely deploy devices throughout the hospital environment, wirelessly configure and update settings, monitor compliance with healthcare policies and remotely wipe or lock managed Medopad devices.” 

It hails the operational benefits of offerings such as its chemo watch app, saying its makes the whole hospital experience “safer for patients with improved satisfaction and less litigation”, along with “easier acquisition of data for operational management and decision-making”.

The firm has plans to do additional pilots with private hospitals in other countries such as China, and also more hospitals in London.

Brett Wells

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