Remote monitoring and virtual clinic for patients with respiratory conditions

An estimated 10,400 people in the UK have cystic fibrosis (CF) which affects the lungs, digestive system and several other organs. A pilot study of remote lung monitoring technology involved patients being treated for the disease at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital.

Situation

Patients with cystic fibrosis require frequent hospital visits to monitor their lung health. The average cystic fibrosis patient typically visits hospital five to six times a year, with each visit requiring 150 minutes of travelling and costing £39.

Aspiration

The aim is to make self-monitoring possible for all CF patients. Being able to test lung function at home would allow patients to monitor their lung health more frequently and effectively, decrease inconvenient hospital visits and help identify any deterioration in lung health sooner.

Solution and impact

The Royal Brompton Hospital worked with NuvoAir to support people with cystic fibrosis to monitor their lung health from home with a digital spirometer and self-monitoring app on their smartphone. This data can then be shared and viewed by the clinical team and virtual consultations completed to reduce the burden on in-hospital clinic appointments.

The technology also supports other respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung transplant. As a result, patients with CF have benefitted from a reduction in travel time, costs and time off work, as well as a 30% reduction in clinic appointments. Additionally, patients can monitor lung health twice as frequently, allowing an early identification of any deterioration.

Functionality

The solution is a remote device to be used at home by the patient and linked to a smartphone to record the results.

Capabilities

Patients can complete a spirometry at home and results can be remotely monitored via smartphone and specialist CF clinical team at the Royal Brompton Hospital during virtual consultations.

Scope

The device is used at home by patients.

Key figures/quotes

“Giving patients the ability to measure their own lung health has reduced the need to bring patients to hospital so often. It means they have a better idea how stable they are and if new treatments are working. We can then have conversations about their data over the phone or the internet instead of bringing them to clinic, making better use of our time and theirs.”
Dr Susan Madge, CF nurse consultant at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more

Read more about virtual services on the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust website

Download further information from the NuvoAir website (PDF, 392 KB)

Watch this video for more on cystic fibrosis virtual consultations

Key contact

Dr Susan Madge, CF nurse consultant at Royal Brompton Hospital

S.Madge@rbht.nhs.uk

Helen Parrott, clinical lead, Nuvoair

helen.parrott@nuvoair.com