Man sitting on a hospital bed looking out of a window

Digital pilot helping cancer patients through immunotherapy

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is helping its patients prepare for treatment by empowering them to get fitter as part of a new partnership with academia.

Those awaiting immunotherapy treatment at Clatterbridge will be given free digital smart watches so they can access tailored exercise plans that will help patients get in better shape ahead of, during and after their treatment.

The fitness programmes have been designed by experts at Liverpool John Moores University who will monitor patient progress remotely, providing ad hoc advice as well as delivering digital meetings to discuss how things are going.

With fatigue being one of the main reported patient challenges with immunotherapy, it is hoped this initiative will help boost those getting treatment’s ability to cope both physically and mentally.

Anybody joining the programme will be assessed beforehand to ensure they are suitable, with the pilot expected to be rolled out to as many as 40 patients.

The £40,000 project is being spearheaded by medical oncology registrar at Clatterbridge, Dr Jess Hale, and Dr Anna Olsson-Brown, medical consultant in melanoma and specialist in immunotherapy.

“This home-based exercise programme is designed with patients, based on their fitness levels and delivered straight to patients’ watches in their own home. Patients receive regular meetings and feedback with an exercise professional, meaning they are supported and feel safe to be more active during their treatment,” said Dr Hale.

“This remote exercise solution bridges the gap between supervised exercise and basic physical activity advice, enabling more patients to safely engage in regular long-term physically active lifestyles.”

Innovation manager at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Drew Norwood-Green, added: “This new project has come through our Bright Ideas scheme, which has attracted more than 150 initiatives from our workforce to improve the lives of patients and staff – backed by a fund from Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.”

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NHE May/June 2024

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