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care. Telehealth in practice is just beginning in oncology: in a

systematic review of telemedicine for patients 60 years and

over, 3 oncology studies were identified out of 68 controlled

interventional studies.

The aim of our study in patients having chemotherapy

was to use a small, user friendly (4 buttons) device, developed

for the elderly, called the Health-Buddy


to remotely monitor

patient’s health, during chemotherapy, in their own home.

The intention was that timely intervention could help

manage side effects of chemotherapy and prevent them from

worsening and hence reduce NHS costs. A total of 73 patients

were recruited to the study, 40 females aged 30–83 (mean age

59.4), and 33 males aged 20–80 (mean age 63). Patients had the

Buddy for an average of 5 months. Out of a total of 119,315

responses in total, 1247 of these were recorded as high-risk

alerts, which required healthcare advice. The most common

severe symptoms encountered by patients included fatigue,

pain, emotional distress and severe diarrhea. Patients had

a positive experience of using the health buddy. Our study

shows that the device did provide additional supportive care

during chemotherapy.

Disclosure of interest:

None declared