Researchers launch Western Isles Care Study

In the Western Isles of Scotland there are more than two thousand people living with at least one long term medical condition.

Now a study is being conducted by the University of Dundee, in partnership with NHS Western Isles, to explore how the use of technology may be used in the provision of supportive care to people with long term conditions.

A system called ASyMS has been successfully developed by the team at the University of Dundee for use in people with cancer, and this study is now exploring its use in people with long term conditions.

ASyMS has the ability to enhance the care provided to people with long term conditions by remotely monitoring their supportive care needs while they are at home, and providing real time communication of this information to health professionals involved in their care.

The first phase of the study is exploring what the supportive care needs of people in the Western Isles are, via a large-scale questionnaire survey.

People with Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) will be invited to take part in the survey. GP practices across the Western Isles are taking part in the study.

The information gathered via the questionnaires will then be used to develop ASyMS so it is specifically tailored to meet the supportive care needs of people with long-term conditions.

Dr Roma Maguire, the study’s Chief Investigator based at the University of Dundee, said: “We are really pleased to be working with NHS Western Isles as we have a unique opportunity to develop ASyMS, specifically to manage the supportive care needs of people with long term conditions.”

Martin Malcolm, Head of Health Intelligence for NHS Western Isles, added: “This new study is the first time such technology will be applied to persons with chronic long term conditions.

“NHS Western Isles are pleased to be working in collaboration with Dundee University in this important research project that has seen benefits to patients in previous studies.”