As usual, over the past days there have been many exciting new stories in the health tech community. In this article, we explore some of the main stories from across the country that caught our attention.
Digital prehabilitation for head and neck cancer patients
A new pilot project offering digital prehabilitation to newly-diagnosed head and neck cancer patients has been launched at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT). Funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, the pilot sees ONKO offering digital services of health coaching and support to patients.
The support will enable up to 50 patients to receive rehab to optimise their health prior and during cancer treatment; with ongoing health coaching, exercise and intervention programmes available through an app, along with wearable devices to monitor their progress.
CHFT’s prehab lead, Nicky Hill, said: “This is a great opportunity to see how prehab support can be offered digitally, and will mean people can receive support 24/7 at the touch of a button. The aim is to improve physical and psychological fitness, reduce complications from treatment and length of stay and demonstrate increased engagement to change behaviours and improve patient experience.”
£10 million diagnostic centre receives new scanners
A new £10 million Integrated Diagnostic Centre (IDC) at South Tyneside District Hospital has recently welcomed two MRI scanners. The IDC, which is set to open in April, is on track to house the trust’s first permanent PET-CT scanner – allowing patients to receive this specialist scan locally, rather travelling to Newcastle or Middlesborough.
The IDC will also feature docking stations for mobile scanners in anticipation of greater demand for services upon opening.
The new diagnostic centre is expected to be fully equipped with the lates technology and will be integrated with the Trust’s digital patient record systems; allowing consultants to view information in multiple locations remotely.
Christie NFT trials at-home monitoring device for cancer patients
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has begun trialling a new device developed by Entia that allows cancer patients to take blood tests in their own homes.
The Liberty device is smaller than a laptop and involves the patient pricking their finger to procure a blood sample, which is then fed into the machine on a slide. The device is able to analyse their blood sample and can send the results directly to the hospital’s results system so that it can support the clinical team’s decision making as to whether the patient’s blood counts require further treatment.
If the trial is successful, the equipment will be licensed for use in the UK from as early as this summer – allowing patients to use Liberty in their own homes.
Cellular pathology colleagues ‘go digital’ at Calderdale and Huddersfield
The roll-out of a new technology at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) will enable consultant histopathologists to screen slides on a computer, rather than a microscope. A digital slide scanner will be used to produce a digital image of the slide, which will then be available on a shared storage site to allow consultants from other trusts to view the slides electronically if required.
It is expected that this process will support faster, more efficient diagnoses. The technology is also expected to provide a better work-life balance for consultant histopathologists as they can screen these images at home.
CHFT are one of six trusts across West Yorkshire through the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts to implement the technology.
Michelle McNamara, cellular pathology service manager at CHFT, said: “Colleagues in cellular pathology are really excited about the introduction of digital pathology, and the real bonus is working collaboratively with other trusts across the region to deliver it.”
Doncaster and Bassetlaw recruiting new data quality team
The formation of a new Data Quality Assurance (DQA) team has been announced at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), and the team is looking to recruit individuals to join the new initiative.
The new DQA team’s main duties will focus on updating data within trust systems, and referring patients for further support. The trust will make a large investment in the new team and is currently looking for 17 highly skilled individuals to join them in the delivery of high quality patient care.
Ken Anderson, chief information officer at DBTH, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic and forward thinking organisation and to make a real difference to the lives of patients in Doncaster and Bassetlaw. This new team also offers a chance to be part of shaping the future of validation at DBTH in preparation for the introduction of a new electronic patient record.”