34.3% of Catalans suffer from a chronic disease. Mental disorders are one of the most prevalent diseases and also have a major functional impact on the individuals. Individuals who suffer mental illnesses need frequent check-ups to optimize treatment, prevent relapses and improve adherence. Therefore it's becoming more and more important to develop personalised treatment models.
In order to tackle this need, Parc Tauli and Devicare are currently working on developing a new medical device which will allow patients to monitor the treatment with lithium salts from home in the cases of affective diseases such as bipolar disorder and major depression, where these salts are frequently prescribed.
The introduction of Remote Patient Monitoring will not only allow patients to participate actively in the therapeutic process (patient empowerment), but it will also enable the healthcare team to have greater control and more suitable follow up. The device will be equipped with a unique technology patented by Devicare that uses sensors to measure clinical biometric indicators in breath, and in body fluids such as blood, sweat, saliva and urine.
Two groups from I3PT's Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Areas are participating in this project: e-Mental Health led by Dr Diego Palao and Affective Disorders led by Dr Narcís Cardoner, both connected to the Mental Health Network at the Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERSAM).
"Allowing patients being treated to analyse their blood lithium levels with their own mobile phone will lead to an extraordinary improvement in the patient's involvement in their own healthcare and will better help prevent relapses" Dr Palao comments. "This innovative device will contribute to improving our knowledge of mental diseases and to actively participating in prevention, by automatically sharing the information with the medical team in charge of providing healthcare".
Dr Cardoner also highlights the advances that this new device will provide for treatment with lithium carbonate: "This will improve the security of one of the most effective medications and will empower people who are affected".