The research project is named 'e-Nefro - Arquitectura modular adaptable para la teleasistencia integral de paciente renales' (Modular customisable architecture for complete kidney patient telecare', in English). The research partners will study the implementation of a telemedicine system for the monitoring of pre-dialysis patients or patients under substitutive treatment (peritoneal dialysis), with the aim of improving their quality of life and healthcare.
The project is funded by the Health Institute Carlos III, a public research institute attached to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and it will run for three years.
Nephrologists believe that in the current scientific and technological context, home telemonitoring of chronic kidney disease patients in the pre-dialysis phase or under substitutive treatment (peritoneal dialysis) will improve both their health follow-up and quality of life. They expect that patients will thereby gain a better sense of security and support, and that the cost-efficiency of care will be enhanced.
For their part, engineers consider that the current state of development of ICT as well as that of sensing devices make it possible to study new devices for patients with special needs, in particular pre-dialysis or peritoneal dialysis patients.
At the present stage, the project is in a phase where all management and coordination activities for the project tasks are being developed; during the next phase the partners will analyse the various system needs and develop the methodology. The modular architecture will then be implemented, and the effectiveness of the system assessed.
The researchers propose to create a decentralised and personalised model that is based on a system customisable to different needs. It is thus envisaged to provide user access, complete services, and the follow-up of kidney patients. It is worth noting that the planned features include: universal and low-cost solutions; non-invasive and ubiquitous monitoring; secure, reliable, easy-to-use and accessible user interfaces.
This project has multidisciplinary characteristics, which will provide fertile grounds for designing and assessing the system to be developed. Project participants are, on the one hand, the Biomedical Engineering specialists of the Superior Engineering School of Seville University, and on the other hand, a team of nephrologists from the University Hospital Virgen Macarena. The project coordinator is the head of the nephrology clinical management unit of the hospital, Jose Antonio Milán.
The researchers will also receive support from three other hospitals, namely: Hospital del Sureste (Madrid), the University Hospital Nuestra Señora de Candelaria in Tenerife and the Hospital of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands).