Cancer patients’ digital monitoring system ‘highly successful’ in trials

Close up of a person holding a mobile phone in their hand

In the wake of an already devastating cancer diagnosis, European cancer patients often grapple with debilitating symptoms and side effects.

For these patients, the eSMART (Electronic Symptom Management System Remote Technology) trial provides new hope for improved management of the side effects and symptoms of cancer, and with it, improved quality of life.

Today (Friday 5 July), the eSMART (Electronic Symptom Management System Remote Technology) Consortium presented its preliminary results at a conference in Brussels.

eSMART uses a mobile phone based remote monitoring system called the Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS). ASyMS monitors symptoms of people with cancer in real time in their homes and reports those of concern to their hospital team.

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In this study over 800 people with breast, colorectal, and haematological cancers having chemotherapy across 12 hospitals in Greece, the UK, Ireland, Austria and Norway took part in a trial evaluating its clinical and economic benefits. Chemotherapy can carry significant risk as people can become unwell very quickly. ASyMS can detect symptoms early and ensure rapid access to care as and when required.

Early results suggest that eSMART was highly successful in reducing chemotherapy symptoms. It augmented cancer care services in these countries by promoting a move from reactive to anticipatory models of care. Such models of care can prevent costly hospitalisation and result in cost savings. eSMART’s results are providing important evidence of mHealth’s potential clinical and economic benefits—benefits poised to be multiplied when the solutions are deployed at scale.

Kathi Apostolidis, President of Consortium-member European Cancer Patients Coalition (ECPC), said: “eSMART demonstrates that digital tools delivering patient-focused, anticipatory care can be important for patients’ quality of life,” said.

Better symptom management puts the patient back in control of their lives and their disease. It is also advantageous for healthcare systems as it helps patients to stay well at home for as long as possible, thereby preventing costly hospital admissions and inappropriate service use.”

The eSMART Consortium was led by the University of Strathclyde Glasgow and was funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7).

Professor Roma Maguire from the University of Strathclyde Glasgow who is the Chief Investigator for this study, said: “Projects like eSMART showcase what we can achieve when we pool our European expertise and resources.

“For this reason I am delighted to have led this innovative and collaborative project that focuses on safety and quality of care. These are so important to all people with cancer across Europe and directly enhance their quality of life”.