News, News in Brief

News in brief: data survey launched in Norfolk, remote monitoring in Bedfordshire, digital fair in the Midlands, and more

Here we share some of the health tech news that has caught our eye over the last few weeks.

Survey launched in Norfolk and Waveney on data in health and care

A new survey has been launched in Norfolk and Waveney to help identify how much people understand about data and how it can be used to help improve health and care services. The ICB hopes that by giving local residents the chance to contribute to the survey, they will have the opportunity to “shape how their data is used to improve care services and personalise medical treatment”.

The publication of the survey aligns with the ICB’s wider commitment to transparency, data protection, and risk stratification, and it is open for submissions until Friday 1 March 2024.

Remote monitoring in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership shared that a wireless device designed to remotely monitor an individual’s vital signs, hydration levels, sleep patterns and wellbeing has been introduced in the region.

It is hoped that the product, MiiCare, will help to tackle falls and infections as well as reducing the need for hospital stays. A central MiiCare hub is connected with a range of devices around the home, with a virtual assistant providing prompts for things like taking medication, drinking more or attending appointments, as well as providing general updates on the news, weather, time and more.

The ICS shares that since the technology was installed, an individual who previously had eight falls within one year has only experienced one fall; additionally, another individual who used to require four home care calls a day no longer requires any routine calls.

Update on Northamptonshire Care Record

Integrated Care Northamptonshire has shared an update on its care record, highlighting how the record has been accessed more than 21,000 times since its launch in October 2023, by more than 1,500 health and care professionals.

All GP practices are said to already have access, with roll-out “well underway” at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital.

Kirstie Watson, digital director, comments: “Making the best use of digital technology will help transform the healthcare services that people in Northamptonshire receive and that is our key priority. The Northamptonshire Care Record is helping us provide the very best care possible for the communities we serve.”

London HealthTech Research Centre to focus on cardiovascular and respiratory medicine

Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London have announced that their new HealthTech Research Centre will focus on four themes, including cardiovascular diseases in adults, technologies for children with congenital heart diseases, cardiovascular interventions, and respiratory medicine. It will also help to develop training for “the next generation of health-tech innovators and researchers”.

It is one of 14 centres to be established after receiving a share of almost £42 million in funding from the NIHR, with the aim of working with industry and academic partners to create a “one stop shop” to develop new technologies, medical devices and digital solutions.

Rachel Clough, consultant vascular surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’, clinical senior lecturer in surgical and interventional engineering at KCL, and the new centre’s co-director, comments that the centre hopes to “foster and accelerate the translation to bedside of new promising technologies for the benefit of patients, the NHS, and the British economy.”

Digital Fair at Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust is holding a digital fair in February, bringing together a variety of speakers including MPFT Digital’s training team, the Staffordshire and Shropshire Health Informatics Service fix-it desk and external suppliers.

The fair will offer opportunities for trust staff to sign up to be a digital champion, learn about how clinical safety officers can help, and more.

Find out more here.

Tesla MRI scanner commissioned at Darent Valley Hospital

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has announced the introduction of a Tesla MRI scanner as part of a £4 million investment in the hospital’s radiology department, said to be “the most advanced MRI scanner in Kent” and marking what the trust calls a “a major milestone in the hospital’s transformation programme”.

The Tesla scanner is set to enable more detailed images with particular focus on the brain, joints and prostate. The hospital is also looking to use its capabilities to “image patients with cardiac pacemakers and a specific pathway for children, including an emerging pathway of scanning under anaesthesia”.

Professor Sriprasad the divisional medical director, said:  “We are proud to have this scanner which has a great spectrum of imaging capabilities and a great help to the clinicians and most importantly, benefits patients. A big thanks to the entire team of Radiology and the management of Darent Valley Hospital who made this happen.”

From our last news in brief: a new portable virtual radiotherapy system in Tayside, digital tech for COPD, and research for speech recognition tech.