Sickle Cell Disorder is the most common genetic condition in England and is associated with high morbidity.
Nottingham University asks; Will you help predict onset of a sickle cell crisis and improve quality of life for patients?
Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that has no widely available cure.
Most treatments could be delivered at home if there was enough forewarning of a crisis, but there is no validated prediction method. SCD is characterised by abnormal sickle- (crescent-) shaped red blood cells.
Normal red blood cells are flexible and can squeeze through small blood vessels. But sickle cells are more rigid, and can block vessels, preventing oxygen from getting around the body. The sickle cell crisis results in pain, which can lead to hospitalisation.
Nottingham University’s engineering and clinical teams have worked with a SCD patient group through the Sickle Cell Society to develop an imaging device that monitors the movement of red blood cells under the tongue.
We are now developing a home monitoring system to predict a sickle cell crisis. The oxygen-carrying capability of sickle cells will be measured by a simple, inexpensive and non-invasive device (pulse oximeter), which will be Bluetooth-enabled and linked to a 3G mobile phone.
Data from the mobile phone will be transferred to a website which can be accessed by clinicians and patients. The system will be able to perform spot measurements or overnight monitoring. Patients’ continued input is vital if we are to develop this system. Local success will help inform public policies and improve services nationally and globally.
Home monitoring and treatment plans will significantly improve quality of life for patients around the world. Quicker intervention will prevent or alleviate crises, and home treatments will allow patients and carers to establish routines.
This increased stability will help patients’ education and employment prospects, and will reduce the demand on healthcare providers.
Your support for Sickle Cell Disorder Monitor will have a genuine impact on the lives of SCD patients locally, nationally and globally.
This is an exciting development that could have significant benefits for those with sickle cell disorder.
Dr Asa’ah Nkohkwo, Clinical Scientist, Public Health Consultant, Sickle Cell Society Adviser.
The Sickle Cell Society is working closely with The University of Nottingham to help bring about a revolutionary change in the treatment of sickle cell disorder.
Dr Philip Nortey, CEO, Sickle Cell Society.