Mobile app to support chemo patients
The aim of anticancer therapy is mostly two-sided: 1) extend the patient’s life 2) while ensuring a good quality of life. Chemotherapy generally prolongs a patient’s lifespan, but is accompanied by a lot of side effects. It is important that the health-care providers timely detect those side effects. That way, they can respond quickly and the patient can continue to receive the optimal treatment dosage.
When the patient systematically reports the side effects himself, those can be detected and dealt with more quickly. For that reason, Remedus developed the smartphone application RemeCare, which allows patients to register side effects (including pain) right when they experience them. On the basis of an algorithm, patient registrations are sent to the health-care team, which considerably improves symptom management. Next to that, therapy adherence to anticancer medication can be monitored via the app, just like some vital parameters, like blood pressure, body weight, body temperature and heart rate.
Pre-chemo blood sample tests at home
Cancer patients more and more often are obliged to visit the outpatient clinic. On the one hand, one can notice an evolution towards more frequent chemotherapy with lower dosage and on the other hand one can see one towards less toxic therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. The visits to the outpatient clinic are an emotional burden for the patient (especially because of the waiting period and the uncertainty about whether or not therapy will take place). Moreover, the visits interfere with a normal social life and repeatedly generate considerable costs for the patient as well as for society.
Remedus developed a project in which part of that specialized care can take place at the patient’s home. A carefully trained nurse will visit the patient at home for a blood sample test and anamnesis one day before the planned chemotherapy at the outpatient clinic. On the basis of that information, the doctor will validate if therapy can take place the next day, after which the patient will receive a text message about that decision. This will result in an optimal organization at the outpatient clinic, high patient satisfaction, more efficient planning, shorter wait periods and no unnecessary transfers to the hospital.
Treatment of breast cancer patients at home
Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) is a monoclonal antibody which is used in the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. The patient is treated with eighteen cycles of the medicine, which is administered every three weeks. A couple of years ago, the subcutaneous administration of Herceptin® was introduced.
Remedus has developed a program in which part of the administrations can take place at home, with the primary goal of letting the health-care provision run more smoothly. A home nurse, trained by Remedus, will visit the patient at home on the day of administration for the anamnesis and injection of the medicine. There will always be three administrations at home. Every fourth administration will take place at the hospital. During that visit to the hospital, the patient will be examined carefully and the necessary medication for the next series of home administrations will be provided. By treating some of the patients at home, the pressure of work at the outpatient clinic will be lowered. It will also result in high patient satisfaction, since it will require less transfers to the hospital.
Monitoring program at home for prostate cancer patients
Prostate cancer patients are usually examined regularly, for example via blood sample testing, blood pressure testing and checking if the patient does not hold too much fluid. Remedus developed a program in which trained nurses are able to perform most of those tests at home.
During this home visit, the patient can ask questions, share possible worries or indicate any problems or complaints. The nurse will make time for the patient and help him or her as well as she can. The patient’s health-care team will always be kept informed.