Mobile Phone Project

Using GPRS mobile phone technology for managing symptoms associated with chemotherapy for colon cancer (The Mobile Phone Project)

The aim of the Mobile Phone Project was to develop a reliable and fully-tested system for managing symptoms associated with chemotherapy for colon cancer, using a mobile phone (provided by the Project) and supporting IT infra-structure.

Patients run the risk of considerable side effects including nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, mucositis, neutropenia, fatigue and bleeding. As such, self care strategies and information for this patient group are vital during the time they will spend at home.

Specifically, the mobile phone was used by patients to:

  • Collect symptom information using an implementation of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) grading system.
  • Collect information about their temperature.
  • Receive tailored self-care information based on their reported symptoms.

Three groups were involved in the running of this study:

  • OCTO
  • The Neural Networks and Signal Processing Research Group in the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science.
  • T+ Medical

Beta phase

The beta phase of the MPP has been completed with six QUASAR 2 patients recruited at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.  Anecdotal evidence from the patients involved suggests that they found the mobile phone reassuring and easy to use.

The experiences and findings from the MPP beta phase are currently being written up for publication.  We hope to publish at least two papers, one focusing on the technology aspects of the Project and one on the nurses’ experience.

The beta phase was very successful and this product (software) may become available in the future.

What next?

The MPP Project Management Group has discussed where this technology might best be used in the future and which group of patients might benefit most from this daily monitoring.  It is an exciting and potentially valuable tool in the ever-changing field of anti-cancer treatment. We are in the early stages of designing a study which aims to look at whether this technology is useful for patients receiving treatment for advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer.  We aim to design a system which will allow early dose modification to minimise the side effects experienced whilst ensuring that the patient receives optimum treatment. If you would like to register your interest in participating in future projects, please contact mpp@octo-oxford.org.uk

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