New app is already helping patients

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman visiting experts at Newcastle University.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman visiting experts at Newcastle University.

A new app has been launched that aims to help patients undergoing liver problems from having an invasive biopsy.

The Minister for Life sciences has been meeting liver patients who, with a standard blood test and a new app, are avoiding having to undergo a biopsy.

Experts at Newcastle University have devised a pioneering app which allows their medical team to simply monitor the progress of their patients’ disease and predict suitable drug treatment.

One patient the new app is helping is Karen Young, from Newbiggin, who was diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) 11 years ago.

“The access to expert healthcare meant I was re-assessed, changed medication which is now taken less frequently but at a higher dosage and this means I have better control of my condition,” she said.

“These are experts who understand the severity of my symptoms, when I say I am fatigued I am not just tired but like a toy with no batteries.

“Changing my medication, getting better control of my illness, of the itching in particular and new developments like the app are all important steps for patients like myself to feel that we have control of the condition and of our treatment.”

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman said: “Digital diagnostics like this are essential in giving patients information on their condition, whilst helping clinicians to monitor their progress remotely and in real time so they can provide quick and effective treatments.”

“The Government’s continued investment in the £1 billion a year National Institute for Health Research, through its Biomedical Research Centres and Units across the country, is making this possible and bringing 21st Century technologies to the frontline of the NHS.”