AstraZeneca and Exco InTouch have teamed up to develop and launch a digital health tool to help UK patients to track and manage chronic conditions.

AstraZeneca’s R&D organisation and Exco InTouch are developing the tool with an initial focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Patients enrolled in the new programmes will be able to access personalised coaching and information about their disease and treatment via their mobile phones or other web enabled devices. 

Patients will also use digital technology to collect, transmit and review their own clinical data. Patients and their health care providers will be able to use this real-time information to make informed decisions and tailor care pathways to personalise each patient’s disease management and optimise health outcomes. 

Mike Hannay, VP of pharmaceutical development at the Anglo-Swedish firm, said: “AstraZeneca are evaluating the impact of innovative services designed to aid patients, physicians and payers in achieving better health outcomes. By expanding our understanding of how patients use and respond to various treatment options, we can better focus our efforts to deliver new medicines that will address unmet needs.”

Tim Davis, chief executive of UK-based Exco InTouch, added: “We believe these programmes will lead the way in moving the pharmaceutical industry beyond the pill and into providing on-going support to patients through personalised health solutions and intelligent pharmaceuticals.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will provide financial resources and disease area expertise, and will conduct outreach to patients and physicians who may wish to enrol in the programmes.

Exco InTouch will provide the technology, infrastructure and expertise to create engaging communications combined with the multiple data capture mechanisms required to provide tailored patient programmes.

Part of the programme development plan will involve conducting a clinical evaluation in several clinical commissioning boards, which will take on the NHS budget from April.

Dr Pete Naylor, chair of the Wirral health clinical commissioning group, said: “With the increasing pressures on NHS resources, organisational partnership work around Health Technology helps us maximise efficiency, whilst often improving the care of those with chronic conditions, especially in areas such as COPD.

“Helping patients with these conditions to better understand their illness, especially when they are exacerbating, appears to be key in improving outcomes. Occasionally, technology allows us to improve this work, whilst often having the benefit of allowing patients to get on with their lives in their own homes. These technologies should be strongly considered wherever viable.”

AZ and Exco said that with the health industry shifting into a new phase of value-based healthcare and patients demanding greater control of their own care, mobile health solutions are ideally placed to connect patients, carers and health care providers.

This includes the UK Government’s 3millionlives programme, which aims to get telehealth and telecare schemes to three million people by 2018.