Haemophilia is caused by the absence or severe deficiency of Factor VIII or IX, proteins in the human blood which are critical for proper blood coagulation. More than 300.000 people worldwide have haemophilia, and can experience spontaneous, uncontrolled internal bleeding which often is associated with pain and chronic joint damage. To prevent or treat these bleeding episodes, patients are required to administer a therapeutic clotting factor as prescribed by their clinician.
Advoy's haemophilia application allows for an enhanced communication between haemophilia patients and clinicians via a secure Internet site where patients record their latest treatment information, such as type of bleed, where it occurred, and how soon after it occurred they administered their prescribed clotting factor. This data is protected and accessible only to a patient's health care team who can view patient therapy information at any time via the Internet.
"Through timely access to patient therapy information, Advoy enables me to provide better care for my patients by allowing me to respond more quickly to potential problems. Before, I would have to wait until the patient called with a problem or came in for a regularly scheduled visit, which sometimes only happens once a year", stated Dr. Leonard Valentino of Chicago's Rush Presbyterian Hospital and a participating physician for the Advoy trial. "Advoy also makes it easier to manage a larger case load and to follow patients who live far from the centre."
People with severe haemophilia typically suffer from 30 or more difficult-to-manage bleeds per year, yet they may only visit their physician once or twice during that period. The Advoy platform enables a clinician to identify and respond more quickly to potential problems, such as a reoccurring bleed, which can lead to more serious complications if not addressed early.
Clinicians also can set multiple parameters within the Advoy platform to track a patient's progress. Should there be deviations from these parameters, an alert will be triggered to notify the health care professionals of a potential issue and need to intervene. For example, in the case of people with severe haemophilia who are on a preventative regimen and are usually required to administer a therapeutic clotting factor two or three times a week, alerts could be set to monitor for adherence to protocol.
"Baxter's first commitment has always been to the patient. Advoy's e-Care platform has the potential to improve the lives of chronically ill patients and to assist health care professionals in providing the best and most cost-effective care possible", stated Dianne Begin, vice president of e-Health for Baxter's BioScience business. "Advoy serves as a virtual bridge, spanning relationships across patients, families, and health-care providers, a bridge to better care."
The clinician is at the centre of the Advoy system. People with haemophilia interested in using Advoy must first be registered in the system by their clinician, making it an integral part of the haemophilia disease management process and an important link in the patient/clinician relationship. Advoy is available to anyone with haemophilia regardless of the brand of clotting factor they use. Additional features under development include a version accessible via a hand-held device, order fulfilment in select countries where Baxter provides home services, and enhanced therapy management features. An expanded launch of Advoy will occur at the beginning of 2002.
In developing Advoy, Baxter collaborated closely with Scient, an e-Business consulting group which helps clients address complex business issues using information technology to eliminate costs and create new sources of revenue. Scient's extensive knowledge of Internet-based architecture introduced a comprehensive development approach, which integrates business strategy and design to create a platform allowing for more active disease management by patients and their providers.
Baxter Healthcare Corporation is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. Baxter is a global medical products and services company that, through its subsidiaries, provides critical therapies for people with life-threatening conditions. Baxter's products and services in bioscience such as biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, biosurgery and transfusion therapies; medication delivery; and renal therapy are used by health care providers and their patients in more than 100 countries.