News in Brief

News in Brief: Legal & General launches app, new CEO for System C, Kernow CCG home device and Bleepa win two NHS contracts

What’s been happening in the health technology industry over the past week? Join us here for our News in Brief to find out…

Legal & General partners with Health and Care Innovations for self-management app

Legal & General Group Protection has partnered with long-term condition management support service CONNECTPlus, from HCI (Health and Care Innovations Limited), with an aim to support individuals manage their condition.

The app is used to support day-to-day self-management of stroke, cancer, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, long COVID and rheumatoid arthritis. Features include health trackers and scores to monitor pain or symptoms, condition-specific patient information videos and blogs, medication reminders and a diary to help organise self-care. It will be available to all insured Legal & General employees and their immediate family.

“We’re really excited about the partnership with HCI,” said Vanessa Sallows, Claims & Governance Director at Legal & General Group Protection. “The addition of the CONNECTPlus app helps us further embed digital health into the customer experience.”

Richard Wyatt-Haines, Director at HCI, said: “Thanks to the scale of Legal & General, CONNECTPlus can now make life easier for thousands more people across the country in a really simple way, and on one simple digital platform.”

Kernow CCG launches at home service to treat people with COVID-19

Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a pulse oximeter device to monitor the pulse and check the level of oxygen in the blood for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, as part of the CCG’s Oximetry @home service.  

Patients referred to the service will be educated on how to monitor their condition and will be provided with access to the clinical staff who can review oximeter readings via an app or over the phone. The service is designed to reduce the need for patients to attend GP surgeries or hospitals for routine reviews, as staff can “detect ‘any’ potential change in a patient’s condition ‘swiftly’ and provide essential support.”

Dr Tamsyn Anderson, Chief Operating Officer, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The many challenges of coronavirus have required us to implement smart and effective ways of doing things differently.

The Oximetry @home service is a fantastic example of this. Giving people a pulse oximeter to use at home helps people understand the measurements that we use clinically to indicate whether people need urgent clinical review so we can help them to stay at home or return home safely and our clinical team are on hand for advice. Remote monitoring via a virtual ward also means we can reduce the length of time people need to stay in hospital but provide them with the same level of checks and monitoring.”

System C strengthens management team with the appointment of Nick Wilson as CEO

UK health and social care software specialist System C has announced the appointment of Nick Wilson as CEO from May 2022.

Previously CEO at Allocate Software, an international provider of workforce and resource planning solutions, Wilson has a track record of growing businesses organically with strengths in operational delivery and customer experience. He joins the team to accelerate the company’s growth as trusts move to full electronic patient record (EPR) systems.

30 NHS trusts now use System C software for its clinical and administration system and over half of all NHS trusts use its pharmacy systems.

Nick Wilson commented: “I am looking forward to joining System C and to working with the team as we seek to continue to serve our customers and grow the business. Health and social care secretary, Sajid Javid, has made frontline digitisation a key priority and as the principal British provider of these services we will be very focused on responding to that challenge.”

Two NHS trust contracts for medical imaging app Bleepa

Feedback plc, a specialist clinical communications business, has been awarded two twelve-month contracts to provide its product Bleepa to two NHS trusts, for an overall value of £200,000.

Feedback describes its mission as improving “the efficiency and quality of communications for frontline clinicians and hospitals”, focusing on “building solutions that enhance access to high quality patient data.”

Among a toolkit of clinical communication apps, Bleepa is their core product, a medical imaging app that enables frontline clinicians and teams to communicate remotely and securely. It allows medical images to be shared throughout the clinical team and its features include instant messaging, digital image annotation, patient referral management and the option to request second opinions from colleagues.

“We are delighted to see the value of Bleepa as a core clinical system recognised through the award of two customer contracts,” said Tom Oakley, CEO of Feedback. “Over the last year we have significantly grown the number of Bleepa users and it is good to see this growth recognised in the uplift in contract value achieved. These contracts are early evidence of the success of our 2019 strategic shift.”

Oxford University Hospitals purchases new imaging and spinal robotic navigation system

Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust (OUH) has purchased ExcelsiusGPS, a new comprehensive robotic navigation platform for spinal surgery.  

ExcelsiusGPS, developed by Globus Medical, is designed to improve safety and accuracy in the operating theatre, combining a rigid robotic arm and full navigation capabilities into one adaptable platform to support ‘accurate’ trajectory alignment in spine surgery. OUH say that it is “the world’s first” technology to do this.

The technology has a range of benefits, including enabling more minimally invasive procedures which help to prevent blood loss, theatre time and infection rates; increasing the accuracy of implant placement and reducing intraoperative radiation exposure; assisting in safe, accurate placement of spinal instrumentation during operations; and reducing clinical risk to patients.

“Our Spinal Surgery Department is an internationally renowned Spine Centre for excellence and a leader in innovative and technologically advanced clinical healthcare,” said Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer at OUH. “This robotic navigation platform will further ensure the Trust provides accurate and excellent care to patients and help to reduce waiting lists which also improves overall patient satisfaction.” 

Patients set to benefit from digitised remote monitoring of heart conditions at UHCW NHS Trust

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) and Doccla are collaborating to set up tech-led virtual wards to aid 100 atrial fibrillation patients.

The creation of a specialised, secure virtual ward will enable UHCW NHS Trust and Doccla to capture electrocardiogram (ECG), selected vital signs and symptomatic data in patients preparing for a cardiac ablation procedure, along with safely monitoring their recovery post-operation.

Led by Cardiac Consultant Dr Tarv Dhanja, the UHCW cardiac team will be able to safely manage patients remotely via its digital platform, tracking patients’ measurements and symptoms together on the Doccla platform. Any abnormal readings are flagged, with the patient contacted to determine if any intervention is needed. Patients also receive regular routine calls to check on their physical and mental wellbeing.

“This innovation will benefit patients by giving them the flexibility to maintain their everyday lifestyles without compromising their health while also helping us to optimise the care we can give through close monitoring,” said Dr Tarv Dhanjal. “The ambition to digitise the pathway for AF patients stems from the need to understand more about the effectiveness of ablation procedures. AF affects one million people in the UK and, with the creation of this virtual ward, we cannot just keep a close eye on patients’ wellbeing through the process, but we can get access to valuable insight to help us begin to better understand the benefits of these procedures on peoples’ conditions.”

The data collected over this year-long initiative will also feed into an innovative research study into the effectiveness of cardiac ablation therapy.