AstraZeneca and Exco InTouch to develop chronic disease management software

28 February 2013

AstraZeneca and patient management systems developer Exco InTouch have announced a programme to develop interactive mobile phone and internet-based health tools for tracking and managing chronic conditions.

AstraZeneca’s R&D organisation and Exco InTouch are developing the tool with an initial focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Patients enrolled in the programmes will have the opportunity to access personalised coaching and information about their disease and treatment via their mobile phones or other web enabled devices. Patients will also use digital technology to collect, transmit and review their own clinical data. Patients and their health care providers will be able to use this real-time information to make informed decisions and tailor care pathways to personalise each patient’s disease management and optimise health outcomes.

Mike Hannay, Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development at AstraZeneca, said: “AstraZeneca are evaluating the impact of innovative services designed to aid patients, physicians and payers in achieving better health outcomes. By expanding our understanding of how patients use and respond to various treatment options, we can better focus our efforts to deliver new medicines that will address unmet needs.”

Tim Davis, CEO of Exco InTouch said: “At Exco InTouch, we strive to revolutionise healthcare by utilising everyday technologies to help patients and health care providers improve health outcomes. We believe these programmes will lead the way in moving the pharmaceutical industry beyond the pill and into providing on-going support to patients through personalised health solutions and intelligent pharmaceuticals.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will provide financial resources and disease area expertise, and will conduct outreach to patients and physicians who may wish to enrol in the programmes. Exco InTouch will provide the technology, infrastructure and expertise to create engaging communications combined with the multiple data capture mechanisms required to provide tailored patient programmes. Part of the programme development plan will involve conducting a clinical evaluation in several National Health Service Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Dr Pete Naylor, Chair of the Wirral Health Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "With the increasing pressures on NHS resources, organisational partnership work around health technology helps us maximise efficiency, whilst often improving the care of those with chronic conditions, especially in areas such as COPD. Helping patients with these conditions to better understand their illness, especially when they are exacerbating, appears to be key in improving outcomes. Occasionally, technology allows us to improve this work, whilst often having the benefit of allowing patients to get on with their lives in their own homes. These technologies should be strongly considered wherever viable.”

With the health industry shifting into a new phase of value-based healthcare and patients demanding greater control of their own care, mobile health solutions are ideally placed to connect patients, carers and health care providers. For example, the successful integration and accessibility of real-time health data can allow:

  • parents to check via their mobile phones that their children have taken their medication as prescribed and that their pulse and blood pressure are normal;
  • healthcare professionals to access the same technologies to monitor a patient’s condition and intervene before it worsens, thus protecting the patient and cutting the costs of healthcare interventions; and
  • healthcare professionals to compare the patient’s medical history to a database in order to select the treatment option which is most likely to work for them, or use real time biomarker data to adjust their dose in order to optimize the management of their disease.


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