“Over 3 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year in Europe and it is likely that this number will increase by at least 65% over the next 20 years”.
“Given this predicted increase, the need for personalised cancer care is becoming even more crucial. Our system will give patients continual support both during and after chemotherapy, while allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own homes. It will revolutionise the way our healthcare system supports people with cancer.”
The eSMART project is a pioneering research project that could transform cancer care and significantly reduce healthcare costs by enabling cancer care clinicians to monitor patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast, bowel and blood cancers via mobile phone.
The eSMART (Electronic Symptom Management System Remote Technology) trial involves provision of a mobile phone to cancer patients which contains an app-like programme where patients identify and record their chemotherapy symptoms twice a day. This information is sent securely to a computer which assesses the symptoms and triggers an immediate alert to doctors or nurses if the patient requires assistance. The phone offers patients real time information and advice on how to manage their symptoms at home, without the need to travel to hospital.
The eSMART researchers believe that through the use of the system, chemotherapy side effects will be reduced and the identification and treatment of life-threatening side effects will be quicker when compared to current care systems.
eSMART has been granted €6 million from the European Union to fund a large trial of the system involving 1,000 patients in England, Austria, Greece, Holland, Ireland and Norway, with the hope that this type of patient monitoring will be integrated into routine cancer care in the future.