King’s College Hospital in London is using Medopad’s Apple Watch Chemotherapy app as part of a pilot to improve medication management and adherence for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

As part of the pilot, each patient is given an Apple Watch running the app that sends out reminders about which medication to take. Patients can also submit symptoms and their temperature, allowing doctors to monitor and adjust the prescriptions if they are having a bad reaction. The Medopad’s software also gives medical staff access to the data on patient activity levels captured by the Watch’s accelerometer.

“The doctors who helped us to develop the app at King’s are so excited,” said Medopad’s CEO, Dr Rich Khatib during an interview with Wareable. “The tricky thing is how to integrate HealthKit information into the systems that doctors and hospitals are using but Medopad takes care of this.”

Due to Apple Watch being in short supply, only a couple of the devices are being used at the moment, but according to Medopad’s CTO, Dan Vàhdat, they plan to buy 100 or 200 devices as soon as possible.

Regarding the affordability of using Apple Watch as a healthcare tool, Khatib said: “Right now we are trying to educate people so we are paying for the Apple Watch devices. This app was built entirely for the Watch, the iPhone just acts as a communication device. In the future the devices would be sponsored perhaps by hospitals, pharmaceutical companies or insurance companies.”

“After the treatment is over, another patient can use the Apple Watch so it could work out at £50 per patient. When you compare that to chemotherapy treatments and the fact that one pill could cost £1,000 per day it’s worth it,” continued Khatib.

According to Medopad, the app will save cancer treatment facilities money as it will allow doctors to improve treatment by monitoring changes in symptoms, prescribing new medications and ensuring that patients are taking their drugs on time. “Patients forget to take the drugs or lose them. There are also many unnecessary visits to A&E because doctors don’t have access to that information,” said Khatib.

Vàhdat explained that the data is secure and confidential, and not owned by them. “We are like Uber in that Uber doesn’t own any cars. We don’t own any data. The hospital keeps control of the patients’ data.”

Medopad plans to roll out the trial to other hospitals in London as well as to private hospitals in other countries, such as China.

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