Thousands of patients with cystic fibrosis and dozens recovering from coronavirus are being given devices and apps so that medics can monitor their condition remotely.
It forms part of the NHS drive to give more people connected, supported, personalised care in their own homes.
People with cystic fibrosis (CF) are among those classed as at extreme risk from the coronavirus and have been advised by the Government to follow specific shielding advice.
From this month, NHS England will help CF patients aged six years and over to be given a spirometer to measure their lung capacity, and an app that lets them share this information with their doctor.
Home-based spirometry has been hailed as ‘the most important intervention’ for cystic fibrosis patients by the CF National Network.
NHS England has accelerated the roll-out to help ensure people can stay safe at home during the pandemic, while at the same time ensuring that those whose condition worsens can get the right help fast.
Commenting, the NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said: “For patients and their families living with cystic fibrosis this is a landmark moment, offering people vital health help at home.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has hit every household in the country but for some people with certain conditions, this virus will have been especially unsettling and dangerous, which is why the NHS is looking to make sure those at greatest risk can get safe, tailored care, despite the ongoing pandemic threat.”
Adding: “As the NHS in England moves from having responded successfully to the first wave of the virus, to helping people to recover and to restoring routine services, it is common sense, convenient and innovative forms of treatment like at-home lung checks that we are making increasingly available to people across the country.”