A team at the Royal Free Hospital has been awarded funding from the Health Foundation for a mobile app, AlcoChange, which aims to help patients cut down on alcohol.

Liver specialists Dr Gautam Mehta, Professor Rajiv Jalan and Professor Kevin Moore, have been awarded £75,000 from the Health Foundation, a healthcare charity. The money will be used to provide the app, as well as a breathalyser that plugs into the smartphone, to patients with alcoholic liver disease to help them drink within safe limits.

As part of a 15-month pilot, 60 patients with ALD will use the AlcoChange app to monitor their drinking habits and help them cut down on alcohol. The app works by using personal data to establish the most effective times to send patients messages reminding them not to drink. In addition, the app gathers information about the patients’ drinking habits, which is then fed back to clinical staff at the Royal Free Hospital. This allows staff to closely monitor whether patients are drinking too much and, where necessary, provide them with additional support to cut down on alcohol. AlcoChange helps patients set achievable goals to reduce the amount they drink, and monitor their alcohol use through the smartphone breathalyser.

Dr Gautam Mehta said: “I’m thrilled to have been awarded this money by the Health Foundation. It will go a long way to helping patients reduce their alcohol intake.

“I started developing this app because helping patients with ALD tackle alcohol abuse is the key to their recovery. This app and breathalyser will enable them to accurately monitor how much alcohol they are drinking and help lead to sustained behaviour change.”

The Health Foundation selected 17 projects from across the UK to fund, enabling clinical teams to put their innovative ideas in to practice.

Image: Dr Gautam Mehta with the app.


About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London.

For further information, visit www.royalfree.nhs.uk