Computers and mobile phones aiding medicine
December 24th, 2005

Computers and mobiles phones are playing an increasingly valuable role in helping doctors and patients monitor conditions such as diabetes on a daily basis, explains BBC News.

And government ministers believe that new technology can also be harnessed to help elderly people live independently for longer.

A system being used by a thousand patients in the UK deploys mobile phone technology to help patients with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels. The information gets sent straight back to their GP for immediate analysis.

It has been developed by Lionel Tarassenko, at Oxford University, who said: “Even if they’ve never used a mobile phone before, we find that if people are motivated to bring their diabetes under control, this technology really works for them.”

Tarassenko is hoping to get the number of users up to 10,000 next year. “It costs a staggering six billion pounds a year for the NHS to support people with the complications of poorly managed diabetes – they may go blind or have lower limb problems, requiring amputation. The government is keen to try to do something about these problems – they have begun various initiatives to encourage people to self-manage their condition.”

Related: The diabetes phone.

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