First-of-its-Kind Remote Neuromodulation Patient-Care Technology in the UK


Abbott Introduces NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic,

•      NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic utilises advancements in digital technology to optimise care for patients with chronic pain or movement disorders

•      A first-of-its-kind remote technology solution, approved for use in the UK, to allow patients with a neurostimulator to both communicate with their physician and remotely receive stimulation settings in real time anywhere with a mobile data or Wi-Fi connection and sufficiently charged patient controller.

•      Currently, up to 7 million adults are affected by chronic pain in the UK[iv] , while around 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s disease[v] and an estimated 1 million people live with an essential tremor[vi]

•      Virtual clinic technology can transform the treatment approach for patients who live far from specialised medical care for these conditions, and reduce the burden on in-person hospital visits for patients and their care partners.

 

23 November 2021 – Abbott today announced the UK launch of NeuroSphere™ Virtual Clinic, a first-of-its-kind technology that allows patients to communicate with physicians, ensure proper settings and functionality, and receive new treatment settings remotely as needed.

The NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic has the potential to increase access to treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain or movement disorders who don’t live close to a specialist hospital, have difficulty accessing care, or are unable to go to the hospital due to circumstances like COVID-19.

Abbott’s NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic gives patients the flexibility and comfort of receiving care anywhere* by connecting with their doctor via secure in-app video chat and an integrated remote programming feature, now available within the Abbott patient controller app.

NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic enables clinicians to prescribe new treatment settings remotely to the patient’s neurostimulation device using the clinician programmer app and a new, simple and secure remote care connection. This advancement gives patients confidence in their care and the convenience to manage their therapy in a way that fits their lifestyle.

The NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic can also be helpful for people who live in areas — both rural and urban — with inadequate access to medical services. On average people requiring specialist treatment in parts of the UK will travel around 37 miles[vii] to their nearest centre. Without alternative solutions, such as digital and/or telehealth options, these patients are more likely to delay or forego much-needed care.[viii] NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic brings the convenience and flexibility of telemedicine to neurostimulation therapy, further benefitting chronic pain and movement disorder patients with Abbott devices.

Stana Bojanic, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Spinal Surgeon, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford says, “With NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic, patients can receive stimulation settings from their healthcare professional team remotely in real-time via secure cloud and Bluetooth-based technology. This is something we have never been able to do before and opens up a world in which patients can receive the care they need remotely, without travelling into the hospital. Not only could this save precious time for patients associated with attending clinic, but it could also drive efficiencies in service delivery and cut down on the waiting lists that have grown exponentially through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

James Taylor, Specialist Nurse in Pain and Spasticity Neuromodulation, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford said, “This is a welcome development in supporting people living with chronic pain. With NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic, we can remotely replicate many of the tasks that we currently need to undertake in face-to-face in clinics. Being able to communicate and digitally provide new stimulation settings remotely with patients, allows us to extend long-term care beyond the hospital walls. Allowing our patients to access care without having to sacrifice unnecessary time away from work or family commitments, or sacrifice resources to travel, sometimes long distances, to attend appointments.” 

“The launch of NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic is a result of our drive and tenacity to accelerate the development of this feature to make this available to patients as soon as possible,” comments Binith Cheeran, Senior Director, Clinical & Medical Affairs, Abbott’s Neuromodulation division, “We believe, where possible, that people living with chronic pain or movement disorders should have access to care anywhere they choose, whether that is in their work, home or while travelling.

“This latest advance opens up possibilities to potentially deliver care more efficiently and effectively, all without the need to make it physically to the clinic. We remain focussed on putting the patient at the centre of everything we do, providing life-changing technology that reduces the burden for patients so they can live their lives to the fullest. We are delighted to provide healthcare professionals a new option to support their patients in managing their conditions.”

The NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic is compatible with Abbott’s suite of neuromodulation technologies, including Infinity™ DBS System for patients with Parkinson’s disease, disabling tremor or chronic intractable dystonia; Proclaim™ XR SCS System for patients living with chronic pain of the trunk and/or limbs; and Proclaim™ DRG Neurostimulation System for patients with chronic intractable pain. This integration across all Abbott neuromodulation technologies highlights Abbott’s relentless pursuit of patient-centered research and development methodologies that use neuroscience combined with cutting-edge technology to go beyond physical symptom relief to improve the lives of people with neurological disorders.

[i] Fayaz A et al. Prevalence of chronic pain in the UK: a systematic review and meta-analysis of populations studies.BMJ Open 2016;6:e010364. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364. Accessed October 1 2021

[ii] Parkinson’s UK. What is Parkinson’s?  https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/what-parkinsons. Accessed Oct 12 2021

[iii] Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Pioneering treatment for essential tremor at Trust receives boost from NICE recommendation and new funding appeal. https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/about-us/news/pioneering-treatment-for-essential-tremor-receives-boost Accessed October 1 2021

[iv] Fayaz A et al. Prevalence of chronic pain in the UK: a systematic review and meta-analysis of populations studies.BMJ Open 2016;6:e010364. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364. Accessed October 1 2021

[v] Parkinson’s UK. What is Parkinson’s?  https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/what-parkinsons. Accessed Oct 12 2021

[vi] Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Pioneering treatment for essential tremor at Trust receives boost from NICE recommendation and new funding appeal. https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/about-us/news/pioneering-treatment-for-essential-tremor-receives-boost Accessed October 1 2021

[vii] Jordan, H., Roderick, P., Martin, D. et al. Distance, rurality and the need for care: access to health services in South West England. Int J Health Geogr 3, 21 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-072X-3-21. Accessed Oct 12 2021

[viii] Deloitte. Narrowing the rural-urban health divide. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/public-sector/virtual-health-telemedicine-rural-areas.html. Accessed Nov. 8, 2020.

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