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Monitoring app boosts survival in lung cancer patients

Results of prototype Moovcare remote monitoring device released at ASCO 2016

Digital doctor patientA web-based app has been shown to improve the survival of patients with advanced lung cancer in a phase III trial.

The Moovcare app functions as a remote monitoring device and is used to report signs and symptoms that a lung cancer patient may be heading for a relapse or complication. 

It can be used by patients or their carers to report clinical symptoms over time, with the information shared with their physician.

According to the team behind the app, the median overall survival of patients who used the app was 19 months, compared to just 12 for those who received standard follow-up care. Users of the app - which can be used with mobile devices - also had higher quality of life scores.

After a year, three quarters of the Moovcare group were still alive, compared to around half of patients given standard follow-up. The results are consistent with earlier trials using telehealth approaches, said the researchers, but the trial is the first to show a significant survival benefit for an app-based approach.

The difference seemed to come down to the general health and responsiveness of the patients using the app. While relapse rates were around the same between the two groups, those using the app tended to be healthier and so were more likely to be eligible for standard treatment for a recurrence.

Presenting the data at the ASCO conference in Chicago this week, Fabrice Denis of the Institut Inter-regionale de Cancérologie Jean Bernard in Le Mans, Franc, said Moovcare "introduces a new era of follow-up in which patients can give and receive continuous feedback between visits to their oncologist".

The 133 patients in the trial had all completed initial chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery for their lung cancer and were offered the usual follow-up of doctor visits and CT scans every few months. One group were given access to Moovcare and had the same schedule of doctor visits but fewer scans, with the other following the usual follow-up protocol.

Around 50% of patients relapsed in each group, but 75% of the app users were able to receive treatment for the relapse, compared to one third of the control group. There was also a 50% reduction in imaging testing, which has the potential to reduce the cost of care.

Denis told a press briefing that at ASCO that the app also did not add to doctors' workload: in fact it took oncologists only 15 minutes per week to follow 60 patients and actually decreased the frequency of patient phone calls to the office.

Moovcare remains at the prototype stage but its developer - Israeli firm Sivan Innovation - has said it intends to have it ready for a commercial launch in 2017.

Article by
Phil Taylor

8th June 2016

From: Research

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