Docobo starts trial of doc@HOME system in four European countries

Tallinn 18 February 2003Docobo Ltd., an international telemedicine company, has started a multi-national trial validating the usability of a novel home monitoring system doc@HOME. The study involves five medical universities and 220 hypertension patients in Germany, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Estonia. The telemedical system doc@HOME allows patients to measure their health parameters at home and send the data to medical professionals electronically. Different estimates set the distant monitoring saving potential of doc@HOME at up to 50 percent.

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By the words of Ardo Reinsalu, CEO of Docobo Ltd., the study is a next step in the process of introducing the new doc@HOME system to patients and the medical community. "The results of the previous 50-patient study were very encouraging. We wanted to go a step further and design a new trial for the regions where doc@HOME technology is going to be implemented." The objective of the multi-national study is to validate the usability of the home-based self- and remote monitoring method in anti-hypertensive therapy using the services and apparatus of the doc@HOME system.

Docobo Ltd. has signed partnership agreements with University Clinics in Berlin, Glasgow, London, Turku, and Tartu in order to guarantee high medical competence and quality of the study. Dr. Margus Viigimaa, Head of the Cardiology Department of Tartu University Clinic, acts as Principal Investigator of the study. "We have managed to organise a team of top medical professionals in trial countries. They have all recognised the need to improve the treatment and management of cardiac patients and are looking forward to the results of the current study."

The first stage of the trial will last for three months. Important symptoms and other health parameters of 220 hypertension patients will be monitored and delivered to doctors who are using the doc@HOME system during the trial. For example, measurements of blood pressure, ECG, and bodyweight are among the monitored data. In addition, the device asks the patients for more detailed information such as quality of sleep, everyday stress, etc.

One complimentary objective of the project is to collect data for Docobo's new proprietary bio-impedance technology validation. The Doc@HOME system is able to carry out patient measurements using a handheld data collection device that registers the patient's upper body composition parameters. As a result, it is possible to get detailed information on the patient's circulatory system that in turn leads to more precise diagnosis by doctors.

In January 2000, Docobo signed an agreement with the European Commission that supports further development work of the system with 1 million euro. Since the project involves nine partners in four different countries, the system can be easily adapted to the local situation. The project has received additional financing from Docobo Ltd. and from project partners.

Cardiac diseases are the leading cause of death among the elderly population. Temporary work disability caused by those diseases costs employers billions of dollars each year. The European Union has recognised the threat of rapidly increasing health care costs and has indicated doc@HOME as a way to make disease management more efficient.

Docobo Ltd. is a telemedicine company founded by the research company Curonia Research with the goal to take better care of citizens while significantly lowering the cost of health care. Docobo uses the unique doc@HOME concept to allow people to take an active role in the medical treatment process. More news on the doc@HOME system is available in the VMW November 2001 article First trial results of doc@HOME telemedicine system for cardiac patient monitoring released.


Leslie Versweyveld

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