Innovation, News

Chelsea and Westminster NHS charity celebrates tech roll-out and funding final

The official charity of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, CW+, has celebrated two successes this week – a innovation funding final and the roll-out of new thermal screening technology.

One of the trust’s cardiologists secured funding for a digital innovation project, following a Rapid Adoption Innovation Call by the charity through the programme RADICAL.

After beating four other finalists, during a day spent presenting proposals to a panel of health tech experts, FibriCheck – a smartphone atrial fibrillation testing app – was declared the winner.

An idea by Consultant Cardiologist, Sadia Khan and Pavidra Sivanandarajah, the app is used to measure pulse pressure signals in people who have recently had a stroke or are considered to be at high risk of atrial fibrillation.

As well as financial support, FibriCheck will also get the opportunity to test and scale the innovation at the trust’s hospitals. The funding call is part of CW Innovation, which looks at fast-tracking new technologies into the trust.

The charity also added that due to “generous support from the Rosetrees Trust and Kusuma Trust” the other four finalists would also receive funding. This included runner-up Brent Bartholomew’s proposal to use Microsoft’s Hololens glasses to allow medical students to remotely stream into clinics.

Other innovations that reached the final were: DBm-Health – a remote monitoring system that HTN previously reported on, which allows patients to manage their diabetes via an app, Kintsugi – an app that features ‘expressive voice journaling’ and ‘AI-driven depression and anxiety monitoring’, and Virtual Bodyworks – which harnesses VR to replicate real-world scenarios for staff equality, diversity and inclusion training.

Chris Chaney, Chief Executive of CW+, said: “A huge thank you to our panel for their support of the first RADICAL call, and thank you to all the applicants – we had a really strong range of projects and it’s great to see innovation being prioritised at our trust and beyond.”

CW+ also announced a roll-out of thermal screening technology – ThermaFY Protect – following a successful pilot, during which it scanned 5,000 people a day on average.

Another branch of the CW Innovation programme, the automated temperature scanning stations had been installed at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital’s entrances earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, to help reduce infections.

The bespoke thermal screening product, co-developed by the trust, combines thermal cameras and face recognition software to create heat maps of individuals and calculate body temperatures. The readings are then paired with identification, such as staff IDs and patient / visitor QR codes, to reduce the need for hand-held devices and queuing at entrances, as well as to provide valuable data.

Dominic Conlin, Hospital Director at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: “We are delighted to have been able to collaborate on this unique project, testing and scaling ThermaFY Protect across the trust to improve patient and staff safety. Its visibility as soon as anyone enters one of our buildings is pivotal, improving confidence in our stringent infection control measures. Furthermore, the technology allows us to develop the approach for multiple scenarios.”

The technology is now a permanent addition, scanning around 8,000 people per day, and will continue to be rolled out across all trust hospital entrances and off-site clinics.

It’s one of a number of recent initiative by the trust and its charity, including a roll-out of ISLA imaging technology and an app to help HIV patients connect with clinicians.