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Telemedicine for patients with chronic liver diseases
Date:7/9/2014

The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. Its job is to ensure that we utilize our food properly this is its synthesis function and that toxic substances are removed from our organism this is its detoxification function. Lack of exercise and too much alcohol, stress, and unhealthy food all damage the liver. The resulting diseased cells can lead to inflammations, cancerous ulcers, fat deposits, cirrhoses, and life-threatening liver failure. According to the German Liver Foundation, over five million people in Germany have liver diseases. Often these diseases take a chronic course. Patients suffer from a variety of conditions, including memory disorders (encephalopathy), peritoneal fluid excess (ascites), and itchy deposits in the skin.

Medical systems that assist liver function can tide patients over until they can receive a liver transplant, or accelerate regeneration of the liver after surgery, or even render a transplant unnecessary. They can carry out both the synthesis function and the detoxification function of the liver. To date, however, there are no medically approved cell-based systems. What are also lacking are telemedicine platforms that allow patients with chronic liver diseases to be monitored and treated outside of hospital. "Telemedicine is something that would greatly improve the quality of medical care and patients' quality of life," says Stephan Kiefer, a computer scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT in St. Ingbert, near Saarbrcken in southwest Germany.

In the EU-project "d-LIVER", the IBMT is working with European partners to develop an IT- and cell-based system that will help people suffering from chronic liver failure to receive medical support in their homes. Its engineers are responsible for programming the IT platform and developing the sensor technology that will measure the condition of the liver cells in
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Contact: Stephan Kiefer
Stephan.Kiefer@ibmt.fraunhofer.de
49-689-498-0156
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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Telemedicine for patients with chronic liver diseases
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