News, News in Brief

News in Brief: Alder Hey’s new HR app, NHS invests in respiratory app

For all the main health tech headlines from this week, keep an eye on our latest news archive, which features important stories from the past few days. This includes the opening of applications for an NHSX digital health funding award, the launch of Boots’ online doctor services, and the release of the World Health Organisation’s first report on AI in health.

HTN has also been ‘out and about’ virtually, attending the online opening and tour of Chelsea and Westminster NHS FT’s new digitally enhanced critical care units, as well as chatting to Clinical Informatics Pharmacist Anna Bunch, and hosting a live webcast with Isosec and Barts Health NHS FT. Phew.

Now, however, it’s time to put our feet up, unwind with a coffee and read all about the best of the rest of the news in brief…

NHS invests £400k in remote monitoring respiratory app

NHSX and NHS England have provided over £400,000 in funding for the expansion of MyCare24 – a remote monitoring service that provides digital support for respiratory patients.

The app – called Luscii – underwent a successful trial during the COVID-19 pandemic and will now be rolled-out to assist thousands of people with long-term respiratory conditions across the Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group.

Over the next two years, around 6,000 people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be able to use the app to help them to manage their condition, with the funding meaning that people with both moderate and severe respiratory conditions will now have access to it. A paper-based version will also be available for those without smartphones.

The app and service work together to provide support 24 hours-a-day, giving patients ’round-the-clock’ access to the MyCare24 clinical team, which is led by the Digital Care Hub at Airedale Hospital. The app can recognise when patients’ oxygen levels start to deteriorate and users will be able to input both their oxygen saturations and heart rate from pulse oximeter readings. There are also in-app resources, such as a messaging service that provides early warnings of weather changes that could affect conditions.

The funding is provided by NHSX as part of a wider package of regional support, which totals £3 million, to expand digital solutions across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Dr Katherine Hickman, GP and Respiratory Lead for NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This funding announcement is fantastic news as it gives us the opportunity to scale up the use of remote monitoring and supported self-management for people with COPD. The Luscii App offers self-care materials and videos as well as ‘Know Your Normal’, a simple tool helping people recognise the early signs of an exacerbation and guidance on what to do.  For patients not using the Luscii App, the information pack will be provided in paper format at the point of referral that will include educational content and signposting to services and helplines.”

Dr Claire Lawless, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Our trial has demonstrated how people with COPD can be successfully supported to manage their condition at home reducing the need for clinical support and in particular reducing the risk of emergency admission to hospital. To ensure we have a service that works for everyone, we have involved a range of health and care staff as well as ensuring we listen to the feedback we’ve been getting from people using Luscii, as well as their families.”

Alder Hey launches HR E-Form App

Alder Hey Innovation Centre and Artificial Intelligence HQ (AIHQ) has launched a new HR E-Form App, which will assist staff by ‘easing and simplifying’ HR processes and minimising delays.

The Alder Hey Innovation AIHQ team worked together with the HR department to design and develop a single application that simplifies the ‘submission, visibility, approval, quality, and auditing’ of HR contract change request processes.

The new HR E-Form App will support Alder Hey staff by automatically populating forms with the information required, such as assignment number, name, department and other information. This will help to minimise data entry and reduce the risk of inaccurate and missing data, which can result in processing delays.

The status of form submissions can also be accessed through the various stages, for added transparency. It’s hoped this will reduce the number of tracking status queries sent to the HR team.

The new app uses Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to increase the efficiency in processing HR requests such as hours changes, reducing payroll errors, and improving the processing of staff contract hours changes, which could save the team over 80 hours per month. This should lead to more time to improve on areas such as data quality, reporting and statutory returns.

Alison Mellor, ESR Manager who worked with the RPA Team, said: “We’ve had a very positive experience process mapping our first task for automation. While this is the start of a fairly long journey for the HR Team, we can see the benefits that RPA will have for the team and the wider trust using the service.

“We have a number of processes that we will be able to automate which will help managers see forms processed in a more timely way, reduce errors in pay and data quality and remove inefficiencies in processing to name a few benefits RPA will be bring to the department. As we prepare to launch our first RPA process, we look forward to working with the team to achieve automation in as many processes as possible.”

CCube wins SME award for electronic solutions

CCube Solutions, the electronic document management and software company, has been named ‘Best Electronic Healthcare Solutions Provider 2021’ at the recent SME News UK Enterprise Awards 2021.

Vijay Magon, Managing Director at CCube Solutions, said of the news: “We’re delighted to receive this award for Best Healthcare Software Provider. It highlights the great progress and hard work from everyone at CCube Solutions, not just over the past year and, particularly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, but since we began our journey as an SME. It further endorses our mantra of working in close partnership with our customers – this award is also for our customers, underlining our close working relations, developed over many years in the NHS.”

Cardiology patients to be invited to view their health records online

Cardiology patients in Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Goole will soon be invited to register for a free online portal, which is being launched to help patients better manage their health.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust is going live with the new service, which is called Patients Know Best (PKB), and cardiology patients could receive email invitations to register for it as soon as July.

Cardiology patients will be the first to benefit with access to clinical letters, test results and condition specific information from their laptop, tablet or smartphone devices. Although the trust is piloting the portal for heart patients, it is with a view to rolling it out to other specialities later on.

Gill Bromby, Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for cardiology patients to start to really take control of their own health. By registering for Patients Know Best they’ll be able to monitor and track their own symptoms online, view key clinical information from the hospital and even share this information with other professionals involved in their care. If you receive an invite to register please do so and if you have any questions speak to us about it at your next appointment.”

To find out more, visit the dedicated section of the trust’s website.

Memory Lane Games and Quantum Science reach KPMG final

Two health tech innovators – Memory Lane Games and Quantum Science Ltd –  have been named ‘North West finalists’ as part of an initiative to find a new global tech pioneer, in a competition called the KPMG Private Enterprise Tech Innovator (KPMG UKTI).

The two companies were recently chosen to represent the region from amongst the 10 fast growth tech businesses that were shortlisted in the area, after pitching their businesses to a panel of industry experts. They will now go forward into a UK final.

Based on the Isle of Man, Memory Lane Games’ work focuses on improving the lives of dementia patients and their carers, through tech. The company uses ‘evidence-based dementia therapy apps’ which combine localised, familiar and cognitively-stimulating games optimised with artificial intelligence and machine learning to create ‘frustration-free’ design and deliver personalised dementia therapy at scale.

Quantum Science, located at Daresbury Science Park in Warrington has created nanomaterials, called INFIQ® quantum dots (QD), that can be tuned to absorb visible and infrared light, with the overall aim of making novel QD sensors to boost and improve the image sensor market.