Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer care by mobile

27.11.2007
New mobile computing technology could help adolescents coping with cancer keep in touch with their social world and reduce isolation, according to German researchers writing today in the Inderscience publication, International Journal of Web Based Communities.

One in every two hundred cancer patients is a child and although diagnosis and treatment have improved considerably in recent years. Adolescents facing cancer are very often torn from their growing social world at a critical time in their development and can become quickly isolated. In part, the constantly changing therapy cycles and different treatment locations are to blame.

For instance, leukaemia treatment can last for two years and require chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and extended periods in hospital, often at different specialist centres, rather than a single location. Periods of isolation are often needed because the drugs make the patient more susceptible to infection. Many adolescent cancer patients also feel fragile and unattractive and shy away from social interaction other than with family, which can also be detrimental to friendships.

Jan Marco Leimeister, Uta Knebel, and Helmut Krcmar of the Technische Universität München, Germany are exploring how mobile information technology could be used to improve the perceived quality of life of adolescent cancer patients.

According to Leimeister, who is an expert in virtual communities, e-health and ubiquitous and mobile computing, a four-month field experiment conducted together with the cancer department of the hospital of Heidelberg University has brought to the fore the various challenges and requirements of patient mobile information systems. Their results also outline necessary future research that will allow the concept to be developed practically.

The most obvious answer to keeping teen cancer victims connected is through the use of mobile phone technology. Indeed, these could become a vital part of the recovery process allowing patients to keep in touch with friends and family even during extended periods of isolation. However, many hospitals prohibit the use of mobile phones because of perceived effects on sensitive medical equipment. Leimeister points out that some hospitals are loosening mobile phone restrictions provided they are not used close to such equipment.

The team suggests that a single portable device could act as contact point, allowing calls and messaging between patient and family and friends. It could be used as a kind of personal pager, reminding the patient to attend specific clinics on time or take their medicine. It could also store the patient's medical records for rapid access by healthcare staff and with appropriate sensors could monitor and record blood pressure and other vital signs.

Tests on the potential of such a device scenario have been tested with a smartphone. This is a combination of personal digital assistant (PDA), a digital camera and a tri-band mobile phone. Such a device is already available in the form of the XDA Pocket PC, which is the focus of Leimeister's study.

The camera and certain other functions can be used separately from the phone unit, say the researchers, which means the device can be useful in various tasks even in restricted hospital areas. Otherwise, it can connect to the internet, send and receive email, and run a wide range of computing applications similar to those found on a personal computer. The calendar, diary, notepad, SMS, email, and instant messaging capability provide the most possibilities for adolescent cancer patients, the researchers say.

The researchers have trialled XDA use with a small group of cancer patients. Their preliminary findings are very promising. The patients found the calendar and reminders very useful for keeping track of their treatment, while access to text messaging was very popular. The team found that when the patients had access to their desktop PCs at home, the portable device was less used, but hospitals and rehabilitation centres where a PC was not available, the mobile device provided the means to organise their lives and to communicate with family and friends very effectively.

Jim Corlett | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht New quantum material could warn of neurological disease
11.04.2019 | Purdue University

nachricht High-strength MRI tracks MS progression
09.04.2019 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>