News in Brief

News in Brief: Queen Victoria NHS tender for community diagnostic centre platform, Boots initiative to find innovations, at-home health tests launch in Tesco

Our latest news-in-brief features news from across the health tech community, including Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership, Boots, Tesco, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS FT and Queen Victoria Hospital NHS FT.

Queen Victoria NHS opens tender for community diagnostic centre platform 

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has published an opportunity to procure a digital communications platform for its community diagnostic centre.

The trust is looking to procure a digital platform to provide a way to “connect teams flexibly over a distance and equipping them with the information they need to make informed clinical decisions”.

The estimated value is up to £1.6 million. The deadline is today to apply, find out more here.

Boots initiative to find innovations in digital healthcare

Boots has launched an initiative with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives to support Boots team members with digital healthcare education.

To complete the programme, team members must research and conceptualise a real business initiative that utilises digital technology. They then need to present the ideas internally at executive level to see if they are suitable to be implemented at Boots.

Rich Corbridge, CIO for Boots UK & ROI, said: “The partnership with CHIME is such an exciting one for the business and for Boots team members on an individual level. Our team members get the unprecedented chance to upskill by learning from industry experts with a specific goal of producing new and exciting ideas that could have a direct and meaningful impact on the digital healthcare industry.

“The programme presents the perfect opportunity to be creative and bold. I can’t wait to see what ideas our brilliant team members on the programme can come up with, and which innovations we can move forward with as a business.”

At-home tests to launch in over 500 Tesco stores

Tesco has partnered with Newfoundland, a provider of diagnostic tests and medical devices, to launch at-home tests for its customers.

These include tests to spot symptoms of iron deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, general kidney health, bowel health & cancer, menopause, and male fertility.

Frederick Manduca, Co-founder of Newfoundland, commented: “We want to provide people with the opportunity to take their health into their own hands at an affordable price. With long wait times for doctors and hospital appointments and the very high price point of diagnostic lab tests, we’re offering rapid at home tests that arm people with vital knowledge that can alleviate pressure both on the NHS and patients themselves.”

BLMK Health and Care Partnership showcases care home tech to national health leaders

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership has showcased the use of their digital technologies in a local care home for national health leaders.

Chase House, a care home in Bedfordshire, was an early adopter of a range of technologies from the local ICS through their Digitising Social Care programme. A number of senior managers from the Department of Health and Care and NHS England visited the care home to view how digital technologies are being used to transform adult social care.

The care home demonstrated there use of three technologies:

  • Raizer II: components that fit together to create a chair around a resident to lift them easily and safely from the floor after a fall.
  • Whzan Blue Box: a small case filled with the equipment staff need to monitor the health of residents, enabling them to detect problems early and alert clinical staff to enable treatment.
  • Acoustic Monitoring: a device that checks up on residents at night without disturbing their privacy and helps to prevent falls by alerting care home staff with a resident’s sounds and movements.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS FT research trial into how AI can help detect bowel cancer

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are part of a national research trial looking at how artificial intelligence can help detect bowel cancer at a faster pace.

The endoscopy and research team at North Tees and Hartlepool are part of the “Colo-Detect study which is looking into the effect the GI Genius Intelligent Endoscopy Module could have on the detection of abnormalities such as polyps and cancer.”

The tech can connect to existing endoscopy systems which examines timely images from the colonoscope camera live using AI. It can then highlight areas with a green box for the colonoscopist to conduct a more in depth inspection.

For the study, patients are randomised to either receive a standard colonoscopy or the GI Genius assisted colonoscopy with results to be recorded and analysed to assess the effect of the GI Genius technology to detect abnormalities.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS FT adopts new speech technology software

The speech and language team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have adopted a new technology software to help people digitally bank their voice through an app.

The software modifies a patients voice and produces a new synthetic voice, aiming to maintain their accent and personal traits. From this, patients can type into the app and talk using this digital voice.

The project is mainly being targeted at patients with motor-neuron disease, Parkinson’s, progressive supra nuclear palsy or multiple system atrophy.

The trust is in the early stages of using the software, with six patients banking their voice thus far. They will also be able to bank personal messages while still having the capability to do so and will be able to have their digital voice whenever they need it.

Adult speech and language therapist Zoe Underwood leads on the project at the trust. She said: “The purpose of voice banking is to still give someone a sense of their identity, even when they are losing their voice. It’s a little bit computer-y still but it really does have a lot of characteristics of a person’s voice. It gives families a lot of comfort because they’re able to support their loved ones and their loved ones are able to communicate with them – but in a personal way so it still sounds like them.”