Helping patients, clinicians and hospitals manage dialysis
With about one in 10 Australians suffering from chronic kidney disease, hospitals see almost 1.4 million dialysis visits a year.
Peritoneal dialysis, which involves treating abdominal fluid rather than blood, is a flexible home-based therapy and is cheaper than haemodialysis, which is usually done in a hospital. It enables people to have life-sustaining therapy at home, helping maintain their health and independence.
Encouraging more patients to use this form of dialysis, where suitable, could reduce the strain of haemodialysis visits on hospitals and on patients.
A mobile app for patients on peritoneal dialysis, partnered with a clinician portal
Researchers at CSIRO's Australian e-Health Research Centre, together with peritoneal dialysis nurses at Queensland's Logan Hospital, developed a mobile health platform 'PD-BUDDy' to help increase the uptake of peritoneal dialysis.
The platform includes a smartphone app for patients and an online portal for clinicians.
Patients can use the app to follow a personalised dialysis prescription set by their clinical team, and record their response to treatment in real time. They can use it to remotely interact with clinicians, potentially reducing their hospital visits. The app also allows patients to upload photos of the exit site, notes about their digestive health and exercise, and lists of current medication.
Clinicians can use PD-BUDDy's secure portal to monitor patients' progress in real time, enabling timely interventions and improving efficiency.
Initial results show PD-BUDDy effectively supports patients and clinicians
The PD-BUDDy mobile health platform was recently tested in a feasibility study of 30 patients at Logan Hospital.
Results showed patients were slightly less likely to get infections while using the app to monitor progress and symptoms, and participants reported finding the app to be valuable and convenient. Clinicians involved in the study adopted the platform as part of their regular routines and reported it had been beneficial to their service.
We are investigating the potential to trial the PD-BUDDy app in more hospitals in Australia and overseas, to determine the benefits and feasibility of its widespread use.
We are also investigating PD-BUDDy's suitability for supporting patients on haemodialysis, along with helping nephrologists support kidney transplant patients.