"Mercita in your Pocket' - The Inspiration Behind The Amazing New Juzo Care App

"Over the past 15 years, I have worked within the NHS and privately providing cancer and non-cancer related Lymphoedema care.  I have a natural passion for Lymphoedema and have always enjoyed providing the best quality of care.  I am continuously increasing my skills and knowledge, and I give support to services developing service provision supporting patients and clinical commissioning groups with local provision. After working collaboratively with primary care and the community, I found that compression hosiery was challenging to maintain for nurses that have a considerable workload and are multi-skilled.  I was referred a patient by the community, and I supported them and educated at the same time. The patient needed a below-knee garment, and the nurses needed help in measuring. As I was leaving, one of the nurses said, "what we need is you in our pocket", and the idea was born!

I saw a gap in the market and saw this as an opportunity to develop an app.  It is designed to achieve the management of chronic oedema and Lymphoedema at the point of care for health care professionals (HCP's) and, at the same time, promote and empower patients to self-care.

My friend Justin who runs Judmedia and works with apps and graphic design captured the first layout, and I realised then that this could be a fantastic tool. We needed to consider how it could be sponsored, most of the companies all had an app; however, Juzo did not, and I had been using their products in Wiltshire for some years.  Once we presented the idea to them, they agreed to support us, and we customised it to their products.

What is Single Point of Care (SPC)?  SPC apps provide instant access to HCP's.  They benefit the user in being proactive with the most appropriate care, in real-time. The patient can be empowered my simple instructions and support when needed at any time of the day.

The use of digital solutions like smartphone-compatible pocket devices, improve their ability to make a prompt, and accurate diagnosis.   The healthcare sector has recorded significant improvements to patient management, following the implementation and digitalisation of point of care solutions.

The HCP entry to the app has five areas to explore, which provide education and training.  The central part of the app is the pathway, and this assists the nurses in choosing the correct type of garment for the right condition for the lower limb. 

The HCP selects, "choose a lower leg garment for my patient" - button, this is a clinical pathway, and the aim is to prompt the HCP to think about the lower limb more holistically. One of the goals of this pathway was to deliver a pathway that gave effective treatment, deliver reliable use of the evidence-based best practice, introduce preventable management at that point of care. The pathway includes prompts with each choice leading to a tributary with additional considerations or one or more suggestions. 

 

The patient/carer entry to the app has five elements to it, which emphasises on self-care.

The "how-to" videos are numerous, supporting the patient in learning about their condition, how to apply hosiery in various ways, "how-to" exercises for patients with reduced mobility, and "how-to" apply skin cream appropriately.   Videos provide expert and reliable advice to patients.

The feedback thus far has been immense, and I am extremely positive about its future.  I welcome to any feedback from users, so please do get in touch"

 

It has been a challenging and fabulous learning experience, and with more exciting features to be added to the app. 

So please do download from the following:

 

GOOGLE PLAY

APP STORE

 

or point your phone—tablet device to the black and white QR code below:

 

 

 Look out for my new YouTube Channel, which I will be covering features, e.g. innovations, education, and products for HCP's and patients.

 

Adam Withey

 

 

Mercita Collett, Clinical Nurse Specialist 

Expert in Lymphoedema at Mercita Collett Nurse Consultancy Ltd


Mercita has worked within the NHS as a qualified general nurse for over 26 years. In 2005 a close friend developed Lymphoedema, secondary to a breast cancer diagnosis, after exploring treatment options with her friend she developed an interest in Lymphoedema and started her journey in becoming one of the first specialists in Wiltshire focusing solely on Lymphoedema treatment.

Over the last 14 years, Mercita has worked within the NHS and privately providing cancer and non-cancer related Lymphoedema care which has taken her across the South West of England and London. Treatment care plans for her patients have ranged from manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging and also educating patients on their conditions to ensure appropriate management at home. 

During first few years of Mercita’s work within Lymphoedema care she noticed an increase in the influx of referrals from patients with non-cancer Lymphoedema as previously this was not routinely treated through the Wiltshire CCG. Mercita worked with the CCG to educated them on the importance of appropriate treatment for this patient group, after successfully receiving funding Mercita was approached by the Great Western NHS Trust to run their Lymphoedema service, during which she clinically lead a community service for Wiltshire, working collaboratively with Tissue Viability to enhance their skills on treatment options with a special focus on patients with Lymphoedema and venous leg ulcers.

Mercita has a natural passion for Lymphoedema and has always enjoyed providing the best quality of care. She has supported and inspired colleagues and wishes to continue supporting them. She has continuously increased her skills and knowledge over the years and possesses other therapies alongside her Lymphoedema training such as The Bowen Technique, KineseoTaping, and recently becoming a Bodymindworker. These therapies compliment patients with Lymphoedema/Chronic Oedema.

Mercita continuously keeps her skills up to date and regularly attends study days and conferences to make sure she enhances her knowledge and understanding of the field whilst promoting evidence-based practice. Secondary to her clinical work Mercita works as a consultant for the Lymphoedema industry, supplying them with education, teaching and clinical support.

Over the years in Lymphoedema, Mercita has been involved with delivering a high standard of education and training and also developing business cases and service provision within Lymphoedema. She has made a contribution to evaluating new innovative products and emphasises her passion in innovation and evaluation. She aspires being a key leader in her role; shaping standards, promoting evidence-based practice, and influencing others.

Mercita has been described as having a professional and caring personality and an expert within the Lymphoedema field, she truly believes that her treatment ‘has to have an impact on patient care and improve their quality of life”. 

Mercita recently introduced Deep Oscillation to her services in Wiltshire.