Cancer Patients Use Telemonitoring to Manage Oral Cancer Therapy

eMedonline(R) medication management system monitors Gleevec therapy at Rex Cancer Center

CHICAGO, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A clinical study underway at Rex Cancer Center of Wakefield will evaluate the use of telemonitoring in managing administration of Gleevec, a drug developed and manufactured by Novartis to treat chronic myeloid leukemia. The study will assess the use of a cellphone-based, personalized drug management system called eMedonline to help manage patients' compliance with Gleevec, and help identify and manage side effects.

Many new cancer treatments are delivered orally, offering convenient administration and the potential for improved quality of life. However, patient compliance is of concern. A review of cancer patient noncompliance published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that up to 80% failed to follow their prescriptions.

"Healthcare reform will fail without technologies to more efficiently manage and communicate with patients," said Robert Wehbie, MD, principal investigator on the study and oncologist at Rex. "Technology like eMedonline is uniquely positioned to provide this capability."

The eMedonline platform is designed to facilitate compliance data collection and help manage dosing. It was developed by Leap of Faith Technologies under a grant from the National Institute on Aging and a contract with the National Cancer Institute. It has consistently demonstrated adherence rates of 98%, along with clinically significant improvements in self efficacy, in randomized control studies among chronic disease and cancer patients.

In the Gleevec study, eMedonline is implemented as a "smart service" that leverages the wireless capabilities of RFID and cellphones by turning a smartphone into a medication sensor. Medication data read from a RFID "smartlabel" on the medication package is collected wirelessly by the phone in real time and helps verify that patients are taking the right drug at the right time while monitoring patient reported outcomes.

Data from the phone is sent wirelessly to a secure server where it is available for clinical review and analysis. Alerts can be triggered, enabling intervention in the case of missed medications or adverse events before they become a significant health risk.

If patients stop taking their cancer drugs, or take less than prescribed, they risk becoming resistant to the drug and do not receive the full benefit. Telemonitoring may enhance outcomes and gives patients a measure of control by allowing them to proactively report health status in a simple, automated way.

Barbara Rapchak


[email protected]

SOURCE Leap of Faith Technologies, Inc.