News, News in Brief

News in brief: Implantable heart technology at MFT, eNoting pilot on stroke ward, NHS Digital news

It’s yet another busy week at HTN headquarters, as we prepare to announce the HTN Awards 2021 winners tonight, from 7pm. We’re already counting down the hours until you can join us live on the dedicated blog section of our site, or follow the action on Twitter through #HTNAwards.

As well as announcing the winners, who have contributed greatly to innovation across the last 12 months, we’ll also be running two competitions that will give you the chance to win a £100 hamper or a HTN hoodie. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning your own prize is to tweet us by using the hashtag above, or email us at, with a photo or comment, to show us how you’re watching the awards and where.

Back on topic and back to our bread and butter – the daily news – we take a look at what’s going on in health tech with our latest news in brief round up.

First up, there have been a few new project announcements on Twitter…

New pilot for Southampton Hospital

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is piloting eNoting on its stroke ward. Now live, the project will allow nurses to can add notes through a digital system, rather than paper.

According to the trust’s Global Digital Exemplar Twitter account, which focuses on digital and tech work, the team are “adopting the system like ducks to water.”


Somerset’s digital nursing forms

Elsewhere in the Twitter sphere, the ECHAlliance shared the news that Somerset NHS Foundation Trust had seen improvements after using digital nursing forms, which were developed using low code tools from Better, as part of its Better Platform.

The forms are being used at all adult inpatient wards at the Musgrove Park Hospital and are allowing nurses to record assessments digitally, at patients’ bedsides.

The project, which went live in May, has reported that, over a stretch of four weeks, 22,944 forms were completed. Features include a patient oversight dashboard which automatically calculates BMIs.

Milton Keynes to roll-out Friends and Family Test

Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust has announced that, following a pilot, it will now be rolling out its Friends and Family Test across all of its outpatient clinics.

Used as a way to capture patient feedback digitally, the initiative sends a survey to patients that are registered to the MyCARE patient portal, within 48 hours of their appointment.

Sent as a text message, the survey can be completed on mobile phones to make it easier for patients to complete.

Implantable heart tech at MFT

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) has collaborated with the University of Manchester, Health Innovation Manchester, and the manufacturing company Medtronic, on research into implantable heart technology.

The implantable tech, which takes the form of pacemakers and defibrillators with multiple sensors, was used at MFT to assess when patients are at a high risk of death. The devices allow ‘continuous monitoring of a patient’s heart health, 24 hours a day’ and a study by the research team examined remotely monitored health data from 439 patients using the devices, at the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), for over two years.

The study, which has been published in Europace and was funded by the Medical Research Council, reported a ‘three-fold increase in the odds of mortality for patients who spent at least one day in ‘high-risk’ status’, with the risk status determined by up to nine factors. It was also found that there was a 26 per cent increase in the odds of mortality for patients who had 14 consecutive days or more in a high-risk status – compared with those whose high-risk episodes were shorter – and researchers are now investigating whether integration of the remotely-monitored device data into healthcare pathways can reduce hospitalisations and mortality.

Dr Fozia Ahmed, Honorary Reader in Cardiovascular Sciences from The University of Manchester and Consultant Cardiologist at The Manchester Heart Centre, part of the MRI, said: “Remote monitoring capabilities of modern-day cardiac devices enables continuous monitoring of health-related data in the patients’ own homes. The data can help identify when there is a potentially significant shift in a patient’s clinical condition, helping to predict future adverse clinical events, such as hospitalisation and death.

“Historically, cardiologists have seen patients at six to 12-month hospital-based appointments. If a patient with heart failure is unwell between appointments, then we rely on the patient getting in touch. But patients don’t always know they are unwell until it is too late. We believe this technology could be a game-changer in the management of cardiac patients, particularly those with heart failure.

“In Greater Manchester, based on the data from the research, we have started to use the device-derived alerts, which notify the care team when a patient is detected by the device as ‘high-risk’, prompting a telephone consultation with a specialist.”

Dr Camilla Sammut-Powell, from the NIHR  Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester at The University of Manchester and lead statistician for the research, added: “This is the first prospective study to show that remotely monitored cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) data, summarised as a risk score, can be used to predict mortality.

“This routinely monitored data, automatically collected every day, can help discriminate between patients at high and low risk of death. Such information may personalise a clinician’s decision making towards ensuring that the patient is in receipt of therapies designed to improve their long-term prognosis.”

13 new spin-outs from the University of Manchester

Staying in Manchester, the University of Manchester’s ‘Innovation Factory’ has also reported that 13 new tech spin-out companies were created during this financial year, which makes it a record year for the hub.

The technologies that the businesses are working on include a number of health and health tech projects, such as reference gene software, Hypoxic Tumour Biomarkers to support ‘targeted treatment and drug development’, AI imaging software to speed up the identification of blood cancers, novel therapeutics targeted at hard-to-treat pathogens, a synthetic tendon repair system, and an AP to help patients with mental health problems.

Free Webinar on Smart Medical Solutions and Biotesting Tech

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is hosting The Taiwan Excellence Smart Medical and Biotesting Webinar, a free online session, which will be held on 14 October at 9am UK time.

The webinar will focus on post-pandemic health industry tech trends and showcase products and innovations that demonstrate Taiwan’s ‘strength in combining medicine and ICT’, including applications such as COVID-19 screening and early Arrhythmia detection.

You can register for the free webinar here, or find out more on the event website.

National Disease Registration Service transfers to NHS Digital

The National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) has transferred to NHS Digital from Public Health England (PHE), as part of the government’s reforms to the public health system.

The NDRS collects data on patients with conditions such as cancer, congenital anomalies and rare diseases. This data is then used as ‘a source of information and intelligence’ for patients, clinicians, public health and healthcare professionals, researchers and commissioners.

NHS Digital is now the data controller for this data, under data protection law, and says it hopes that by combining the service’s expertise with its own, that there will be ‘significant benefits for patients, clinicians, and the wider health and social care system over coming years by providing a more comprehensive data service for the NHS.’

Fran Woodard, NHS Digital Executive Director, Data and Analytics Services said: “We are delighted to welcome the National Disease Registration Service to our organisation.

“These colleagues bring deep technical and clinical expertise and share our passion for enabling high quality data to be used to improve health outcomes. We are excited to be able to work even more closely together to help improve services for patients and frontline staff.”

Sanome raises £2 million for home testing

The health start-up Sanome has raised £2 million for home testing in its first round of funding. The company says that it has ‘developed a diagnostics innovation engine that combines biomarkers to develop medical grade, at home diagnostic products (IVDs)’ which is also clinically validated.

Sanome says that the investment will be used to expand is team across London, Amsterdam, and Cambridge and to ‘develop and validate the first set of IVD candidates’.

Dr Marc van der Schee, CMO & co-founder of Sanome, said: “The way in which diagnostic tests are developed doesn’t align with what patients and doctors need and want. A singular diagnostic test doesn’t capture the complexity of health and disease, and therefore can’t deliver true impact. Sanome will create a paradigm shift in diagnostics development by making them 10x more effective, faster and impactful.”