An app which helps those with motor neuron disease better manage their care needs has been developed.

Developed by clinicians and scientists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Sheffield healthcare technology firm ADI, the app enables patients and their carers to answer a series of clinically defined questionnaires about their health, giving clinicians real time data on how they are progressing.

They can also get help and advice on how to manage their condition and access troubleshooting advice for the medical equipment they have to help manage their symptoms at home.

The clinical requirements of the technology have been delivered by MyPathway, a software platform enabling remote healthcare, built by West Yorkshire technology firm Advanced Digital Innovation (UK) Limited (ADI.)

Chris McDermott, consultant neurologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and professor of translational neurology at the University of Sheffield, said: “Motor neuron disease is a terrible, muscle-wasting disease that leaves patients unable to do the simplest of tasks, such as eating, walking and talking.

“The emotional and psychological effects can also be extremely difficult to deal with. Not only is this app helping to improve the quality of life for a highly vulnerable group of patients, but it is also helping them to stay connected with their specialist motor neuron disease care team without having to travel long distances both during and beyond the pandemic.”

With the launch of the new digital app already scheduled for late 2020, clinicians and scientists from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield worked with ADI to fast-track the development so that patients could access support remotely straight away, minimising their Covid-19 risk and supporting them to manage their own care needs at home without the need for a long-distance journey.

John Eaglesham, chief executive for ADI, added: “This is a fantastic example of how a unique partnership between health technology companies and the NHS can work together to offer innovative solutions to care during and beyond the current pandemic.”