News in Brief

News in brief: NHS Arden and GEM analytics contract, Welsh Nursing Care Record roll-out, surgical robot to speed up cancer ops

This week we’ve been building up to our latest instalment of HTN Now – a series of live webcasts and content – so it’s been a busy time. But that hasn’t stopped the health tech news.

In the past few days alone we’ve also covered NHS Digital’s two month delay to its GP data collection programme, IBM and UKRI’s new £210 million centre for digital innovation, and the announcement of funding for 20 new health tech projects.

Here’s the rest of our news round-up this week….and don’t forget to join us from Monday 14 June, for a week of online health tech events and discussions by healthcare experts in digital and tech. We can’t wait.

HEE focuses on e-learning for personalised cancer care

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has developed an online educational programme with Macmillan Cancer Support to help healthcare staff deliver personalised patient cancer care.

Through the course, entitled ‘Prehabilitation, Rehabilitation and Personalised Care (PRosPer)’, health professionals will be able to improve their knowledge and understanding of those three areas. The focus of the e-learning is to provide the workforce with the tools they need to deliver care and support that is “identified, planned and arranged” around the “individual needs and abilities” of people with cancer.

The e-learning programme can offer some face-to-face sessions, and will also cover cancer symptom management and service redesign and workforce development.

For more information and to access the module, visit PRosPer.

Digital revolution for Welsh nursing with new care record

The Welsh Nursing Care Record (WNCR) has been introduced to provide a new digital way of working for nurses and hospital staff in Wales.

The new system is changing the process of nursing documentation by standardising forms, and turning them from paper to digital, meaning nurses are now able to complete assessments at a patient’s bedside on a mobile tablet or device.

Data from the WNCR will be used to drive developments in learning across organisations in health and care, and digital assessments taken by nurses made available to the national, digital patient record, the Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP).

Nurses and multidisciplinary team members from every NHS health board and trust in Wales have been working together for over three years to standardise the forms and create the new digital process, and a Clinical Nursing Lead is now employed in each board and trust to lead the introduction of the new documents.

Claire Bevan, the Senior Responsible Owner for the project, said: “I want to express my gratitude to the project team and all nurses and members of the wider multi-professional groups across Health and Care Wales who have informed through their expert reference groups the standardisation of nursing documents.

These have been digitised by the specialist skilled developers to design the Welsh Nursing Care Record by listening to nurses to ensure that the WNCR is fit for practice in the adult care environments.”

Roll out of the new online documents has already begun in South Pembrokeshire Community, Neath Port Talbot, Velindre Cancer Centre and Withybush General Hospital, while other organisations are planning release later in 2021.

Atos inks five-year deal with Huma

Atos, a cybersecurity, cloud and high performance computing provider has signed a five-year agreement with remote monitoring specialist Huma. The partnership will scale Huma’s digital ‘hospitals at home’ platform nationally, and will also support pharmaceutical and research industries to run clinical trials.

Atos will use its experience in implementing and scaling complex transformation projects to accelerate adoption of Huma’s technology and provide investment worth up to €20 million, which is set to be split across research and development and go-to-market resources.

It’s hoped that the investment will fast-track the integration of the Huma platform with other leading clinical platforms, as well as develop a dedicated video module. Huma’s service, which monitors patients outside of hospitals, is already operating across Germany, England and the UAE, and aims to almost double hospital capacity.

Robert Vassoyan, Head of Health & Life Sciences business at Atos, said: “We have great excitement about this partnership, as we are convinced that Atos and Huma can drive a systemic shift from reactive to proactive models of care.”

Dan Vahdat, CEO and Founder of Huma, added: “Atos will supercharge our work so we can offer services at scale, anywhere in the world across delivery of care and pharma collaborations leading to more people living longer, fuller lives.”

Robotic surgery programme to help tackle COVID backlog

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has received a new surgical robot to help speed up cancer operations that have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest addition means the trust now houses four of these robots – which, according to Guy’s and St Thomas’ makes it the largest programme of its kind in the UK.

The trust agreed the loan of its latest da Vinci surgical system with manufacturer Intuitive, and will keep the robot for the rest of the year.

It’s expected that the robot will operate on NHS patients from the Cancer Centre at Guy’s as part of a collaboration with HCA Healthcare UK – and potentially increase the number of robotic operations by 300.

Ben Challacombe, clinical lead for robotic surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Taking a robot on loan is a creative solution to the backlog of cancer and other complex operations caused by the pandemic and a real win for our patients.

“The benefits of robotic surgery include increased operative precision, leading to less pain, smaller scars and less time in hospital so patients can recover quicker.”

The trust uses robotic surgery for prostate, bladder and kidney removal, while the da Vinci surgical systems are also regularly used by the thoracic lung cancer team as well as gynaecology, ear, nose and throat and maxillofacial departments.

Infermedica launches paediatrics AI solution

Health tech company Infermedica has announced a pediatrics solution that will bring AI to children’s primary care. The company’s AI-driven pre-diagnostics and care coordination platform will now offer preliminary diagnosis and triage of infants, toddlers and children.

It is available globally in 18 languages and will integrate with Infermedica’s existing AI tools – API, Symptom Checker, and Call Center Triage – and will enable parents and caregivers to complete check-ups and then direct them to the most appropriate level of care.

According to Infermedica, the capability has been tested by paediatricians and partnering healthcare companies and features third-person questions, children’s body models adjusted for age and gender, and asks for specific details such as date of birth and health information about close relatives.

NHS Arden & GEM lands new data analytics contract

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG (BLMK CCG) has awarded a business intelligence and analytics contract to NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit (Arden & GEM).

The unit has been appointed to provide a solution for BLMK CCG across a new two-year contract, with an option to extend for another 12 months. The appointment will see Arden & GEM support the CCG in meeting its ambition to improve health and care outcomes for almost one million people living in the area.

Helen Seth, Director of Business Intelligence and Provider Management at Arden & GEM said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by BLMK CCG to work as their trusted partner in driving forward the delivery of an integrated business intelligence service which can optimise the value we can derive from the data available, bringing our existing knowledge and best practice to this large and complex system of health and social care.

“With experience of helping other Integrated Care Systems to adopt a population health approach, we will be supporting delivery in BLMK through the development of an analytics platform and data warehouse. Making best use of all data, in line with information governance requirements, we will help generate actionable insight through the adoption of proven tools for population segmentation, risk stratification, actuarial analysis and economic modelling.”

Other areas of focus will include developing primary care and commissioning dashboards for reporting, benchmarking and COVID recovery, as well as tracking clinical safety and service quality for patient cohorts and pathways such as stroke and cancer.