From Shared Care Records developments in Birmingham, through to digital health milestones in Airedale, and international industry announcements – HTN reports on the heartbeat of health technology news, throughout the sector.
Our latest news in brief covers AI cancer tools, DigitalHealth.London’s new Accelerator intake, and much more. Dive into to the latest headlines below…
BCHC set to join Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Records
Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) will join the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Records (SCR) programme this month.
Staff at BCHC are currently undertaking training on how to use the system and access its information. Previously called the Health Information Exchange, the SCR allows health and social care professionals to see a ‘holistic view’ of a person’s care and treatment, from across all care settings in the local area. Staff will also be able to view patient information from neighbouring areas such as Coventry and Warwickshire and Herefordshire and Worcestershire, should it be necessary to provide care.
The move means BCHC professionals will not only be able to see their own data on their patients – but also information from a range of organisations nearby, including GP practices, hospitals, trusts, city and borough councils, and the West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust.
BCHC Medical Director, Dr Doug Simkiss, says: “Being able to see relevant information held by our fellow partner organisations is a major step forward. It will bring about important improvements in our ability to deliver the best care possible to patients in the most effective way, and is an exciting development in Birmingham and Solihull’s plan for connected care.”
MIT to develop devices that streamline diabetes treatment
Engineers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) are working on an ‘all-in-one’ approach to diabetes treatment.
Devices are being developed that could ‘streamline the process of blood glucose measurement and insulin injection’, through use of an app that ‘identifies and quantifies food content’ to support carbohydrate counting.
Injecting insulin before a meal can be a time-consuming process for people with diabetes, requiring carbohydrate content estimations for each meal, before the drawing of blood to measure blood glucose levels, the calculation of the insulin dose and, finally, the delivery of the dose.
The MIT team has been working on an invention that combines the existing steps into a single device, utilising the app through a smartphone camera and deep learning. This requires patients to take a picture of their food, which the app can then use to estimate the volume and the amount of carbohydrates, based on nutrient information from a database.
A second prototype device instead ‘incorporates flexible electronics onto the surface of a needle so that the blood measurement and insulin delivery can happen through the same needle’. It takes ‘between five and 10 seconds to measure the glucose levels’, with the information then transmitted to the app, which calculates the insulin dose and delivers it through the needle.
Airedale digital health service hits 1k milestone
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has announced that the digital health service MyCare24 has registered its 1,000th patient.
The remote monitoring service supports people with long-term respiratory conditions across Bradford District and Craven, through a dedicated app that seeks to provide proactive advice and help patients transform their care, thereby reducing the need for other services.
MyCare24 was launched in June 2021, with funding from NHSX, and is said to be ‘on track to meet its target of monitoring 6,000 people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)’ over the next two years.
The service is available 24 hours a day, and is staffed by clinicians. It is led by the Digital Care Hub at Airedale Hospital and is believed to be the largest of its kind across England.
Patients receive an introductory call to set up the app on a smart device. This enables them to enter their oxygen saturations and heart rate from the pulse oximeter readings – to help identify when they may need additional support. Other resources include an early messaging service that provides warnings of changes in weather, which may impact COPD.
Karen Dawber, Senior Responsible Officer for the Act as One Respiratory Programme and Chief Nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a significant milestone for our two year project and shows how far we have come since our first patient was offered this remote monitoring option last summer. Feedback from people using the app and those who care for them continues to be overwhelmingly positive and this is echoed by our own health and care professionals.”
Babylon acquires DayToDay Health
Global health tech company Babylon has announced the acquisition of DayToDay Health, which aims to help patients to recover at home and reduce re-hospitalisations.
Babylon members will now be able to access DayToDay’s digital-first resources and clinical services pre- and post-surgery, or around ‘major health events’ like childbirth, or the diagnosis of chronic conditions.
DayToDay provides patients with ‘targeted education, communication and clinical support from a personal care team’ before or after clinical visits, hospitalisations, or surgeries. The company claims to have been able to keep re-hospitalisation rates below 4 per cent, and to be able to cut expected wound infection rates by 93 per cent.
Babylon will integrate the programme’s capabilities into its digital-first healthcare offering, with its own team of clinicians and nurses overseeing the implementation of pre- and post-operative care management.
Ali Parsa, Founder and CEO of Babylon, commented: “We’re excited to welcome the DayToDay team into Babylon, as both companies work toward the same goal of leveraging technology to enhance the patient experience. As we continue to evolve our value-based care services and empower our members to take control of their health, the addition of pre- and post-surgical care will help our members at a significant period of needs, improving overall accessibility, quality and affordability outcomes.”
AI tool to help detect cancer signature
King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have formed a new partnership to test an artificial intelligence (AI)-based system’s effectiveness for cancer detection. Its aim is to see if the tool can help to quicken diagnose of ‘one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer’.
The project’s goal is to develop computer models which can predict patients whose breast cancer tests positive for a gene called HER2, a signature that ‘plays an important role in the progression of aggressive forms of breast cancer’.
The trust and King’s College are to work with the software company Owkin. While, the research will involve the testing of historical samples from consenting breast cancer patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
It’s hoped that using AI will allow for ‘quick and accurate assessment of the presence of HER2’, enabling thousands of women to receive targeted treatment as soon as possible.
Dr Sheeba Irshad, a breast cancer medical oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ said: “Anti-HER2 therapies are a class of medicines used to treat all stages of HER2-positive breast cancer, from early-stage to metastatic. HER2 evaluation is a complex and evolving field.
“This is an exciting partnership between Owkin, King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ to help understand if artificial intelligence methods such as deep learning algorithms have the potential to facilitate clinical decision making in the breast cancer patient pathway.”
Accelerator intake announced by DigitalHealth.London
DigitalHealth.London has revealed the latest digital health companies that have been selected to join its Accelerator programme. The 21 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) chosen for the 2022 edition offer digital solutions or services that could help meet London’s NHS and social care challenges.
This year’s intake includes a telephony system, an AI clinical reasoning platform, and a digital platform that improves sexual wellbeing for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London, said: “The application process for this year’s programme was competitive as ever and as such, the final 21 companies truly are the ones to watch in the digital health space. We look forward to working with them and continuing to play our part in supporting the NHS and social care through digital transformation.”
The successful companies receive bespoke support and advice, along with a programme of expert-led workshops and events, and get the chance to make ‘meaningful connections’ with NHS organisations. This year, they will also benefit from international partnerships with two US Accelerators, Cedars-Sinai and Mass Challenge, who will provide opportunities for the companies to network with global peers, and showcase their products and services.
The SMEs selected for the 2022 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme are:
- Babble – Babblevoice is a purpose built telephony system designed to support primary care.
- Cibiltech – developing digital solutions in predictive medicine for transplantation to improve patient quality of life and care management.
- Convenet – a B2B SaaS integration engine connecting to all 7,000 GP practices and NHS Spine.
- Dem Dx – a CE-certified AI clinical reasoning platform supporting frontline healthcare professionals to diagnose, order investigations and make care recommendations at the first point of contact.
- EIDO – patient-centred and content-led digital solutions to support joint decision making.
- Fika – Fika Mental Fitness is a formal staff training platform which aims to prevent the decline of mental health through proactive skills development.
- Healthtech 1 – automating admin tasks in the NHS so staff can focus on patient care.
- Islacare – Isla is building a clinical platform which aims to revolutionise how conditions are monitored and treated, to make health services globally scalable.
- Jiva.Ai – a low code/no code AI platform focusing on multimodality and explainability, that allows users to create, test and deploy AI models all within the Jiva.ai framework.
- Limbic – Limbic Access is an AI therapy assistant to support NHS patients and clinicians throughout treatment – from referral to discharge.
- Little Journey – a digital eSupport platform designed to remotely prepare and psychologically support children and families before, during and after healthcare interactions.
- Mahana Therapeutics – developing effective prescription digital therapeutics to empower patients with chronic conditions to live fuller lives.
- Panakeia Techologies – offering AI solutions for faster cancer diagnosis by eliminating the need for multiple lab-based tests.
- Pungo (Joy) – providing dynamic social prescribing software to the UK care system to address social determinants of health.
- Sapien Health – a digital clinic for surgery, helping people prepare their mind and body for procedures, through sustainable lifestyle changes.
- SiSU Health Group – an accessible machine-measured health check and digital health platform.
- Soar Beyond (SMART) – The SMART workforce platform helps health and social care to manage and accelerate safe workforce capability development and impact to meet individual, organisational and system needs.
- Tefogo (Compassly) – Compassly is an app that makes clinical competency assessments – saving time for staff and helping keep patients safe.
- Troglo (LVNDR Health) – a digital platform that improves sexual wellbeing for LGBTQ+ individuals and modernises sexual healthcare for clinics.
- Ufonia – creators of Dora, an automated clinical assistant that increases clinical capacity by telephoning patients to have routine medical conversations.
- WYSA – Using ethical AI to make mental health support more accessible.