The findings show that the website EczemaCareOnline.org.uk (ECO) saves NHS costs between £20.82 and £34.15 for every eczema patient or parent of a child with eczema who comes to see a doctor. With more than 35,000 people now visiting the site, the NHS is likely to have saved between £700,000 and over £1 million so far.
The paper shows that the ECO website helps improve symptoms and outcomes in children and adolescents with eczema. This free point-of-use site is low-cost to run, as eczema imposes huge costs on the NHS and the site is cost-effective for the NHS.
Treatment and management of eczema can provide appropriate advice to make life easier for people with eczema and their carers. But professionals often don’t have enough time to learn more about how to care for eczema, and people with eczema and their families often don’t receive enough information about the condition and how to manage it.
The website integrates resources and behavior change techniques proven to improve symptoms and help patients self-manage their condition. It provides information about what eczema is, how to use eczema treatments, how to avoid potential triggers that may make eczema worse, and supports living well with eczema through videos and written resources.
Participants who visited the site experienced improved quality of life and reduced NHS costs after 12 months. Parents and young people are able to take control of their conditions, and the NHS can reduce costs and provide people with evidence-based information that might otherwise be missed during brief primary care appointments.
Eczema Care Online is truly a one-stop shop for everything you could ever need to know about understanding and managing eczema. Rest assured that all the information within is thoroughly researched and up to date.
Researchers spoke to parents and young people who had used the website to find out why it worked. They said the website helped them understand more about eczema, reassured them about the safety of treatments and made them more confident about using treatments. They also say that reading about the experiences of other people with eczema can help young people feel "normal" and feel less alone.
The research was funded by the NIHR Applied Research Programme, in partnership with the Universities of Southampton, Nottingham, Bristol, East Anglia and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
This new community-based support-based online platform is undoubtedly inspiring for improving information and updating treatment methods for many other diseases, while also providing emotional support for patients .