Digital healthcare company PatientMpower has developed new technology that enables home monitoring of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

The new technology provides a treatment option that can reduce risks during the Covid-19 crisis.

PatientMpower said its CF app allows people to measure vital signs relevant for their CF at home - including clinical grade measurement of their lung function and oxygen levels.

Patients' information is immediately available for healthcare staff to view via a secure portal in the hospital.

The company noted that while the Covid-19 crisis has been a frightening time for everybody, it has been particularly difficult for people living with CF. 

People with CF are one of the high-risk groups that are currently advised to cocoon and stay at home during the crisis and are extremely vulnerable to lung infections even during normal times. 

University Hospital Galway is trialling the technology with 37 adult patients and PatientMpower is in active discussions with several Irish hospitals who are interested in the technology.

With an estimated 1,300 CF patients in Ireland, the highest rate of CF per capita in the world, and over 70,000 globally the potential market for the product is huge.

PatientMpower, which is based in Dublin's Digital Hub, is already providing a home monitoring system for the HSE that has enabled the early discharge of over 1,000 Covid-19 patients to date, freeing up vital hospital resources. 

It is one of several companies located in The Digital Hub which are playing a role in the State's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With a renewed focus on "Connected Health", 10% of The Digital Hub’s client companies are in the eHealth area.

Dr Colin Edwards, Chief Scientific Officer with PatientMpower, said that from the company's work with respiratory specialists, they knew there was an urgent need for a new way of providing care for people with CF because of the current crisis. 

"Our solution will enable home monitoring for the multiple aspects of cystic fibrosis, not only lung function but also oxygen saturation, body weight, medication use and much more. The technology is currently available to CF centres in Ireland and internationally," he added.

Fiach Mac Conghail, chief executive of the Digital Hub, said he believes the ecosystem that has been created in Dublin 8 will stimulate companies led by Irish entrepreneurs that will make discoveries transforming healthcare delivery.