Telemedicine improves follow-up of patients with advanced hematological treatments

Recent research by the Hematology and Digital Health groups of IDIBELL and ICO shows that the use of smart watches and mobile apps improves the follow-up of patients who have received a bone marrow transplant or CAR-T therapy.


Hematology therapies, such as hematopoietic cell transplantation or some immunotherapies, are advanced treatments that can offer hope to many patients with serious blood diseases, such as leukemias, lymphomas, and myelomas. However, these treatments also carry certain risks and require careful follow-up after hospital discharge.


Now, research led by Dr. Alberto Mussetti and Lidia Hurtado, from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), has demonstrated the effectiveness of integrating advanced technology for remote monitoring of the health of these patients.


The project, known as TEL-HEMATO, was recently published in the journal JMIR Form Res and focused on the first three months after hospital discharge. From November 2022 to July 2023, patients who had received these hematology treatments used a smartwatch and a digital thermometer, along with a mobile app (ICOnnecta’t) to record vital signs, physical symptoms, and quality of life.


The results indicate that the integration of wearable devices into a telemedicine platform can offer significant benefits for the follow-up of patients with bone marrow transplantation or CAR-T therapy, improving their quality of life and clinical outcomes. The potential advantages of increased automation and the implementation of a specialized support team were also highlighted, especially for older patients with less experience in digital technology.


The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).


Original paper:
Telemedicine With Wearable Technologies in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy (TEL-HEMATO Study): Prospective Noninterventional Single-Center Study. Hurtado L, Gonzalez Concepción M, Flix-Valle A, Ruiz-Romeo M, Gonzalez-Rodriguez S, Peña M, Paviglianiti A, Pera Jambrina MA, Sureda A, Ochoa-Arnedo C, Mussetti A. JMIR Form Res. 2024 Jun 4; 8:e55918. DOI: 10.2196/55918.

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