14th World Congress on Healthcare & Technologies
Coventry University, UK
Title: Emerging technology to improve rehabilitation for most common single nerve disorder (Bell’s palsy) and cost-effectiveness of innovation
Biography: Ala Szczepura
Statement of Problem: Acute onset facial nerve paralysis (FNP) is the most common disorder affecting a single nerve. This distressing neurological condition means patients lose the ability to move facial muscles on the affected side of the face. Overall, one in 60 individuals (usually aged 30-will be affected over the course of their lifetime. Evidence on effective intervention, apart from drug therapy within 72 hrs, supports the benefits of tailored facial exercise (TFE) therapy. Smart wearables (FRAME emerging technology) consisting of spectacles with miniaturized sensors to measure facial movement, linked to a smartphone, could potentially improve TFE delivery by specialist centers. A major National Institute of Health Research study is reported.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: HTA study to model costs and benefits of introduction of this emerging technology. Stages included: estimation of size of problem; updated systematic review of effectiveness of physical therapy; three national surveys (medical staff, facial therapy specialists and patients) to gather data on current treatment pathways and access to TFE therapy; Delphi Exercise to identify consensus on key outcomes and technology introduction; economic modeling.
Findings: 22,500 FNP cases annually in the United Kingdom (UK), cumulative number since 2000 over 427,000; TFE can improve facial function for moderate paralysis and chronic cases and reduce sequelae in acute cases; only 17% of eligible UK patients currently access personalized TFE therapy, with patients traveling up to 200 miles; Delphi panel identified important patient benefits from this emerging technology but also barriers to introduction and economic modeling confirms potential for cost-effective introduction.
Conclusion & Significance: This emerging wearable technology could make a major difference to FNP patients’ lives, as well as generating potential efficiencies for healthcare. Findings from this study will inform the final design and introduction of this technology.