News in Brief

News in Brief: Communications agency adds digital nurse leader, NHS England seeks patient and public voice partners, Tunstall expands into Finland…

Welcome to our latest news-in-brief! Here we cover some of the news from across the health tech community, including Milton Keynes University Hospital achieving Global Digital Exemplar accreditation, NHS England is looking for patient and public voice partners to support e-RS transformation, and a digital therapeutics provider raising $55M in Series B.

And there’s much more…

Communications agency adds digital nurse leader to advisory board

Health tech marketing and communications agency Highland Marketing has added digital nurse leader Anne Cooper to its industry leading advisory board.

Among many achievements, Anne helped to develop the NHS’ first nurse-led telephone helpline NHS Direct, and went on to hold senior positions at the Department of Health Informatics Directorate, NHS England, and NHS Digital.

Commenting on the appointment, Anne said: “I wanted to be involved because of the quality of the people on the board. I wanted to stay connected to some of the big brains in the industry, to have the chance to debate the issues of the day with such a knowledgeable and influential group, and to have some fun in the process.

“I love talking to people and I’m convinced it’s the only way to get a real understanding of the challenges that are facing healthcare and the role that technology can play in addressing them.

“I see the advisory board as a think-tank or sounding board for doing that, and for helping Highland Marketing and its clients to positively shape the health tech industry so it can deliver the innovation the NHS so badly needs.”

Anne joins fellow board members, including: Jeremy Nettle (chair), formerly of Oracle and techUK; Cindy Fedell, regional chief information officer at North Western Ontario Hospitals, Canada; Nicola Haywood-Alexander, CDIO for Lincolnshire Police; Andy Kinnear, former director of digital transformation at NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit; Ravi Kumar, health tech entrepreneur and chair of ZANEC; Rizwan Malik, divisional medical director of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and managing director of South Manchester Radiology, and James Norman, EMEA health and life science director, Pure Storage.

Tunstall expands into Finland

Tunstall Healthcare has announced its latest acquisition, expanding into Finland by acquiring an alarm monitoring services provider, Oy Verifi Ab (Verifi).

The news follows recent acquisitions of BeWo in March 2022 and Secuvita in 2021, part of the company’s international growth strategy.

By acquiring Verifi, Tutnstall hopes to expand its services across Finland, and launch an alarm monitoring centre “aimed at securing the daily lives of older people in their own homes, and saving social and health care resources,” the company said.

The company has now expanded to 19 countries.

NHS England seeks patient and public voice partners to support e-RS transformation

A recruitment process has launched seeking patient and public voice partners to support a transformation programme of the national electronic referral service (e-RS).

The successful partners “must be committed to improving patient experience and championing excellent patient and public participation”, and help ensure “people and patients’ voices are heard, considered and responded to”.

The deadline to apply is 31 May 2022. To find out more please click here.

Milton Keynes University Hospital FT receives GDE accreditation

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has announced it has been formally recognised by NHS England as a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE).  

Since joining the digital innovation programme in 2017, the trust introduced a variety of digital improvements at the hospital, which includes eCARE, the hospital’s electronic patient record, and MyCARE, the trust’s portal enabling patients to manage appointments via their smartphone.  

The trust also rolled out Office 365 in 2019, and partnered with Apple to enable patients to ‘easily’ and ‘securely’ access their medical records via their iPhone. 

Craig York, Chief Information Officer, MKUH, said of the new NHSE accreditation: “As a trust, we have an appetite and willingness to embrace digital innovation and this has often seen us lead the way, both in terms of the NHS and also the global healthcare landscape, on some important work that has helped to improve the health and the experience of both our patients and staff in Milton Keynes. 

“Being part of the GDE programme has meant we can share ideas and feedback with like-minded trusts and utilise the expertise of the national team to help us harness the power of digital technology to improve the care we offer patients. 

“We are delighted the accreditation recognises all of the work we have undertaken, and we hope it signals our intent to keep improving and innovating for the benefit of local people.” 

GE Healthcare collaborates with RaySearch on radiation oncology treatment planning

GE Healthcare has entered into an agreement to collaborate with RaySearch Laboratories, a radiation oncology software provider, to develop a new radiation therapy simulation and treatment planning workflow solution.

The organisations aim to combine Stockholm-based RaySearch’s treatment planning systems with GE Healthcare’s multi-modality simulator systems.

Jan Makela, President & CEO, Imaging, at GE Healthcare, said: “GE Healthcare is delighted to be partnering with RaySearch, as we seek to improve precision guidance during radiation therapy planning and treatment.

“Cancer care can only be improved if those involved work together and this is one of several partnerships that we are pursuing for the benefit of caregivers and patients. Clinicians tell us that navigating through multiple systems to get a clear picture of where cancer cells are is one of their biggest pain points. We are working to bring together complementary solutions and technologies along the radiation therapy treatment pathway to help with this.”

Digital therapeutics provider raises $55M Series B 

Sidekick Health has raised $55 million in Series B funding to accelerate the company’s mission to deliver personalised digital therapeutics for a wide range of medical disorders or diseases.

Dr. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, chief executive officer and co-founder, said: “By harnessing the power of technology we have a unique opportunity to deliver personalised treatments via smartphones and other mobile devices, empowering people to take control of their own health.

“The major challenge facing the world’s healthcare systems is how to support and treat people who are dealing with with two or more chronic conditions. The cornerstone of Sidekick’s approach is our multi-chronic digital therapeutics platform, and this funding will allow us to scale even faster the production of a new generation of clinical treatments across all major chronic diseases.”

In 2019, Sidekick entered into a strategic partnership with Bayer to provide a digital therapeutic to patients with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and in 2020, the company then secured a deal with Pfizer focusing on five inflammatory diseases.