London, March 2nd 2011 - iPLATO Healthcare, leader in mHealth, today reports positive patient feedback from the mobile patient support service provided in partnership with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN). More than 50 patients have signed up to the service which has now been running for more than a year. It helps patients adhere to recommended treatment by sending helpful reminders to the patient's mobile phone. Qualitative feedback shows improved adherence, increased motivation to self care and marked appreciation of the level of service provided by the hospital. The hospital is now looking for funding partners to extend the service to more patients, add electronic patient diary features and produce more evidence on the clinical outcomes of mHealth services.
"Many of our patients have problems remembering to take their medication and this service is a useful support to them" said Professor John Duncan from the NHNN. "It could potentially save health service resources if, by taking their medication more regularly, people have fewer seizures and therefore have less need for health services."
"Poor adherence to medication could have negative consequences for patients as it can result in more seizures occurring." said Anthony Linklater, Epilepsy Specialist Nurse at the NHNN. "Seizures disrupt daily life and can cause injury and hospitalisation. Patients using this service have been receiving timely and personalised text message reminders to take their medication. Their responses to the service have been overwhelmingly positive and all bar one of them has indicated that they wish it to continue. Patients are reporting that the service has helped them to remember to take their medication more regularly and for some this has led to an improvement in the control of their epileptic seizures."
Selected recorded patient quotes:
"Forgetting to take my tablets has reduced a lot"
"It is a real comfort to my family to know that I am less likely to forget my medication"
"Just this morning I forgot and then the message came"
"Does it help? definitely, definitely, definitely!"
Anthony Linklater commented "we are continuing to collect feedback from people using this service and it is beginning to become clear that improvements in adherence are resulting in better seizure control and less use of emergency medical services for some. We hope to get a clearer idea of the scale of these benefits later in the year."
As discussed on BBC Radio 4, Dr Mark Porter looks at treatments for epilepsy (including iPLATO's patient support service) together with Anthony Linklater from NHNN. Wednesday, 23rd February 2011.
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About the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN):The NHNN, part of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is a leading centre for the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with a wide range of neurological conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, stroke and head injuries. With its neighbour, the Institute of Neurology, it is a major international centre for research and training. The NHNN provides comprehensive neurology and neurosurgery services for our other hospitals, including an acute brain injury unit, the national prion clinic and a neurorehabilitation unit.