An at-home monitoring solution for cancer patients that can help to detect life-threatening complications has been approved for use in the UK and is set to launch in two NHS trusts in 2024. 

The Liberty full blood count analyser, developed by Entia is planned to be rolled out at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust by September 2024, after receiving the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark in November 2023.

Entia says it expects the solution, which is part of the Entia Liberty remote patient monitoring service, to go-live in a further 12 hospitals in the UK by the end of 2024.

So far the solution has been tested by more than 1,000 cancer patients from five UK cancer treatment centres, including the Christie.

Dr Toby Basey-Fisher, founder and CEO of Entia, said: “Receiving the UKCA mark has given us the green light for rolling out Liberty in cancer centres here in the UK and to help accelerate their move to more patient-centric oncology care.”

Regular monitoring of cancer patients is important to detect potential problems such as neutropenia, a common side effect of chemotherapy, which weakens the immune system and makes cancer patients highly vulnerable to serious infections.

Patients are usually monitored through outpatient appointments, which can be costly and time-consuming for patients and require additional resources for healthcare providers.

Entia’s laptop-sized analyser provides a full blood analysis using a drop of blood provided at home, which is shared with healthcare professionals alongside symptoms and vital checks via Liberty’s dashboard.

Dr Sacha Howell, senior lecturer and honorary consultant in medical oncology at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust said: “The time, energy and money spent getting to and during appointments is a significant factor in many people’s decisions about a particular course of treatment.

“By cutting out even just a few clinic visits Entia’s device could make a real difference to someone’s life and help make their cancer treatment more bearable.”

Dr Laura Pettit, consultant clinical oncologist at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust, said: “Enabling patients to complete a reliable full blood count reading via a home finger prick test would offer more convenience and flexibility and also negate the need for unnecessary visits to hospital”.

Entia says that at-home monitoring could lead to the possibility of developing AI-based predictive tools to further enhance clinical decision-making.

The UKCA mark is the new standard, indicating that a product sold complies with UK regulations and standards, which replaced the EU CE mark following Britain’s exit from the EU on 1 January 2023.