News, News in Brief

News in Brief: 1m to trial quicker diagnostic tools, Medway’s EPR programme, Hampshire updates maternity tech

January always brings the HTN team a few belated presents – in the form of several exciting events to keep us busy.

First up to unwrap is our latest edition of HTN Now, which began on Monday and runs until 20 Jan, offering digital gift bags full to the brim with live webcasts, interviews, and other feature content, along the way. Don’t miss presentations from NHSX, Cardiff and Vale UHB, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Essex, and much more.

Following this, on Thursday at 7pm, we’ll round-off a great week by revealing the winners of our HTN Now Awards 2022, at a special online evening ceremony. We’ve already revealed our shortlist of finalists, which you can find for each category, through our website.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, we’ll of course keep bringing you the latest health tech news and developments.

Read our news in brief below to find out what’s been going on across academia, industry, and the NHS…

Imperial researchers awarded £1m to trial diagnostic tools

Researchers from Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been awarded £1 million to trial new MRI scanning methods, which could help to diagnose prostate cancer.

The team will explore whether a new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can ‘detect signs of prostate cancer more quickly than current methods’ and whether ‘new imaging technology to help doctors carry out targeted prostate biopsies is better at detecting prostate cancer compared to traditional biopsies’.

The work is funded by Cancer Research UK and, if proved effective, the team hopes it will lead to more accurate and faster diagnosis of prostate cancer, and also estimates it could save the NHS £15 million per year.

Professor Hashim Ahmed, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and part of the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, said: “Cases of prostate cancer are rising each year and it’s predicted that 250,000 men will be diagnosed with this disease every year by 2030. MRI scans are one of the ways we detect prostate cancer but current scans are time-consuming and require a doctor to be present. About out one million MRI scans will need to eventually be carried out every year.

“Our trial will assess whether bpMRI, which is much quicker, can detect prostate cancer just as effectively as current scanning methods. If proved effective this new method could save the NHS money and allow for more men to be scanned.”

Hampshire Hospitals updates maternity equipment

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) is set to introduce 22 new resuscitation devices across maternity departments at Basingstoke and North Hampshire, Andover War Memorial and Royal Hampshire County Hospitals.

Funded after Hampshire Medical Fund raised £72,000 last year, the resuscitaires will allow newborn babies to get immediate support with breathing, temperature and oxygen levels, among other interventions.

HHFT has purchased and installed eight of the devices so far, and will buy 14 more to continue to improve its maternity and neonatal departments. Dr Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer at HHFT, said: “Making sure we have the latest equipment available is important for us here at HHFT and we’re really pleased that our smallest patients will benefit from this latest improvement. Providing the very best care is something we’re consistently aiming to achieve and having this cutting-edge equipment will really help our teams to deliver this.”

Numan launches new campaign to encourage home blood testing

Numan, a digital health company targeted at men, has launched a new campaign to promote at-home blood testing.

The campaign, which spans TV and digital, highlights Numan’s home diagnostic finger-prick blood tests, which provide insights on key biometric markers, such as hormone and vitamin levels, cholesterol and thyroid function.

The blood tests are intended to provide ‘a snapshot of what’s happening inside your body’, thereby allowing people to make lifestyle choices that benefit their own health and wellbeing.

Once an order has been placed, the test is usually delivered within 24 hours, and customers draw their own blood sample using the finger prick equipment provided, before posting it back free of charge, where it’s processed by a UKAS-approved lab. Results are returned three to five days later, and the customer receives expert feedback from a clinician based on the outcome.

Inhealthcare helps Sirona to scale up home-based COVID care 

Inhealthcare is helping Sirona care & health to ‘rapidly scale up’ home-based NHS care for vulnerable people who have been diagnosed with COVID.

Sirona, which provides adult and children’s NHS and Local Authority-funded community services, is offering an optional ‘virtual ward’ service for people in high-risk groups for COVID across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The technology connects people with clinicians and enables early intervention if there are any signs of health deterioration. It has been designed to identify cases of ‘silent hypoxia’, where people may have low oxygen levels but not significant shortness of breath. Using a pulse oximeter, people can monitor their oxygen saturation levels and report their readings to healthcare teams via a choice of communication channels.

Inhealthcare helps monitor COVID symptoms while minimising face-to-face contact and allowing individuals to recover safely at home. Staff can view individual readings on a web-based dashboard and will also receive alerts flagging up those who need support.

Jen Tomkinson, Head of Specialist Services at Sirona, said: “This new service with Inhealthcare has allowed us to support a large number of people with COVID at home. We believe that being able to monitor people remotely can make a big difference to health outcomes.”

Cegedim Healthcare Solutions announces robot integration 

Cegedim Healthcare Solutions has announced its new integration with collection robots, including partnerships with MedPoint and Pharmaself24, which supply automated prescription collection machines to pharmacies.

The integrations are intended to enable UK pharmacy owners to offer more choice and flexibility in their dispensing workflows. This is in-line with Cegedim’s long-term strategy to ‘outline a vision for fully integrated community-based healthcare, where pharmacists play a prominent role in multidisciplinary teams aligned with the objectives of the new Integrated Care Systems’.

Adam Dennett, Managing Director, Cegedim Healthcare Solutions, said: “We appreciate a need for transformational changes to help pharmacies thrive. We believe that community pharmacies need to be recognised as the front door to health and an indispensable component of the urgent care pathway. We are confident that our new integration with collection robots and partnership with MedPoint and Pharmaself24 will allow pharmacists to spend more time delivering care, offering professional advice and improving their business and sales whilst delivering a convenient service for both themselves and their patients.”

Medway deploys phase one of its EPR programme

And, finally, our last story of the day features Medway NHS Foundation Trust, which has successfully deployed phase one of its electronic patient record (EPR) programme with Allscripts.

Medway is said to be the first healthcare organisation to use the latest version (version 21.1) of the Allscripts Sunrise EPR. The deployment of phase one was timed to avoid the peak of intense pressures that winter brings on health services. Now live across all 24 adult inpatient wards, with more than 115,000 clinical documents created in the system, it is being used by more than 1,000 clinical, nursing, and administrative staff.