Multi-morbidity: a challenge for patients, carers and clinicians

Successes in medical research have meant that people are now living longer. As people live longer they are more likely to be living with different ongoing medical problems. When someone has two or more long-term health conditions, this is called “multi-morbidity.” Finding the best way to support and treat people with multi-morbidity can be challenging for patients, carers and clinicians. Multi-morbidity is challenging because clinical guidelines for how best to treat conditions and the ways in which healthcare teams are organised are often designed for caring for individual health problems, but not a combination. Different health conditions, and treatments for different health conditions may interfere with one another. For example, a person with diabetes and renal disease might be advised by their healthcare professionals to follow two conflicting food diets; one focused on managing diabetes and another on managing kidney problems.

A special challenge in caring for patients with multiple health conditions is that they often need to take multiple medications, the situation known as polypharmacy. There is a risk that the side-effects of one medicine could exacerbate another condition which the patient has, and so special care is needed to manage multiple medications. It is essential that all of the clinical teams caring for multiple conditions of the patient are aware of each other’s prescribing.

C3-Cloud develops innovative technology solutions to better manage multi-morbidity

Fortunately, using digital technologies we can help people living with multi-morbidity, and those who look after them. Supporting people with multi-morbidity, carers and clinicians is the purpose of the C3-Cloud project. C3-Cloud is developing innovative systems to help to improve the effectiveness, co-ordination and patient engagement in managing patients with multiple long-term conditions. It is a European Union funded research project looking to better understand how to support people with multi-morbidity (two or more long-term health conditions) and those who look after them.

C3-Cloud is acting as a catalyst to help highlight and address this important healthcare need. We are:

  • examining and harmonising published clinical guidelines so that they are better aligned and easier for clinicians and patients to use in combination
  • embedding the harmonised guidelines within computerised care pathway systems so that clinicians and patients can follow them easily, and share the monitoring of progress towards agreed health and care goals
  • offering patients an app that they can use to record their health status and track their own progress towards health goals.

Find out more about C3-Cloud’s innovative technology solutions.

These solutions must be seen as part of a C3-Cloud multi-morbidity ecosystem in which different actors collaborate to achieve better outcomes and to deliver better healthcare value to all.