CBC on Tour: How digital health research can empower those with cystic fibrosis

Join Professor Andres Floto and Kirsty Hill to hear how digital health research is empowering people living with cystic fibrosis.With over 10,600 people living with the condition, cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases. The majority of adults with CF are in full-time jobs, school or university, yet they will spend weeks, even months, of their lives in hospital and attending clinic.

Since 2016, Professor Andres Floto and colleagues have been exploring how digital health and home (‘remote’) monitoring could be applied to improve and personalise CF care. Cystic fibrosis is caused by having two copies of a defective gene. The defective gene causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus.

Cystic fibrosis affects everyone differently, but for many it involves a rigorous daily treatment regime including physiotherapy, oral, nebulised and occasionally intravenous antibiotics to treat lung infections, as well as taking enzyme tablets to help with the digestion of food. Cystic fibrosis care is overseen by a multidisciplinary CF team, including face-to-face appointments every few months. Most people with CF experience a sudden and unpredictable worsening of lung symptoms once or twice a year. These are disruptive to day-to-day life, difficult to treat, and may cause permanent lung damage.

Prof Floto and colleagues aim to use digital healthcare to speed up diagnosis and delivery of treatments when people with CF experience a worsening of lung symptoms, as part of the UK Cystic Fibrosis Innovation Hub. They are also working to reduce the number of face-to-face clinic appointments that people with CF have to attend, through a programme called Project Breathe. The Project Breathe programme was accelerated and adapted for non-research participants with CF in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.Biographies

Professor Andres Floto is Professor of Respiratory Biology at the University of Cambridge, Director of the UK Cystic Fibrosis Innovation Hub, co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine and honorary consultant at Royal Papworth Hospital.

His research is focused on understanding how immune cells interact with bacteria, how machine learning can be combined with structural biology and genetics to develop novel antibiotics, and how AI can improve the health of people with Cystic Fibrosis.

Kirsty Hill is the managing director of Magic Bullet Ltd, a digital healthcare innovator. She leads the team responsible for delivering the technical solution for the Project Breathe clinical evaluation.

Project Breathe is an exciting collaboration between Magic Bullet, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Royal Papworth Hospital, the University of Cambridge and Microsoft. Building on the success of a previous CF remote monitoring study, the project aims to transform the lives of people living with CF using disruptive digital technologies.

As the mum of a teenager with CF, Kirsty is passionate about making a difference for people living with cystic fibrosis.

This event is part of the ‘CBC on Virtual Tour’ series – the chance to learn more about the Cambridge Biomedical Campus where over 20,000 people at the forefront of the changing face of healthcare are working.

This event will be recorded and a link will be sent to all participants afterwards. It will also be posted on the CUHP website and the CBC YouTube channel.

CBC on Tour: How digital health research can empower those with cystic fibrosis
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