University of Sheffield app supports motor neurone disease patients

A new app developed by the University of Sheffield and tech company ADI, has gone live at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT to support patients living with motor neurone disease (MND) who are receiving remote care.

The trust accelerated the roll-out of the app, ahead of a planned system for remote care of MND patients to be rolled out later in the year.

The telehealth tool allows patients to seamlessly and securely connect with their healthcare provider digitally. Patients answer a series of questionnaires on a weekly basis about their health, to provide clinicians real time data on how their patients are progressing. Through the app, patients can also get advice and help on how to manage their condition, attend virtual appointments with their consultant and seek advice for the medical equipment they have to help manage their symptoms at home.

Dr Esther Hobson, Consultant Neurologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “Motor neurone disease causes significant life-limiting problems and we had already recognised that it was not ideal to ask patients to travel long distances for routine check-ups.”

“However, Covid-19 made it critical that we took extra steps to protect these very vulnerable patients away from a hospital setting whilst continuing to manage their highly specialised care, and we have worked hard over the last few weeks to ensure the programme was ready to launch months earlier than planned.”

“Feedback so far has been extremely positive, with our patients telling us how grateful they were that we have rolled out the digital technology to care for them while keeping them safe.”

John Eaglesham, Chief Executive, ADI (UK) Ltd said: “COVID-19 has driven the need for pioneers in the NHS to trial new ways of communicating and caring for patients, particularly amongst at risk groups. Whilst this shift has been accelerated by the current pandemic, it could herald a long term change in how the NHS interacts with patients, catching up to the online communications used in other sectors.”

“These changes will not only keep at-risk patients safe, but could also help to better manage the next major challenge on the NHS. We’re delighted that our technology is offering a game-changing solution and we are looking forward to continued success.”