Health Tech Awards 2022: best use of digital in primary care

In the category of ‘best use of digital in primary care’, we are delighted to share the following finalists…

Doctrin Limited

Overview: Lakeside Healthcare tackled GP workforce pressures and boosted patient satisfaction by replacing legacy remote consultation providers with a care navigation platform from Doctrin.

Why? The urgency of digitisation during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that various platforms were rolled out with differing levels of success, which meant that the practices had to reassess their digital options and look to select tools that better served the needs of patients and staff.

What happened? Following a rigorous assessment process, Doctrin’s care navigation platform was chosen due to its intelligent triage tool, which can draw on over 800 clinical questions to direct patients to the right professional at the first point of contract. Lakeside staff also favoured Doctrin’s data dashboard, which provided real-time insights into levels and types of service demand. Since Doctrin’s introduction, 12.5 percent of patients have been diverted to self-care at the point of entry, and 50 percent of patients use Doctrin exclusively to access services digitally. The platform has shown that less than 10 percent of cases actually need to be addressed by a GP.

Looking ahead. Doctrin will be rolled out across Lakeside’s remaining two sites and the practices will also make use of the platform’s ‘advice’ feature. In addition, Lakeside is supporting Doctrin to set up care home pilots in the Midlands area.

Dorset CCG

Overview: Blue Prism’s intelligent automation improved the lives of staff and patients at Dorset CCG.

Why? The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increased workload for clinicians, with medically trained staff spending much-needed time processing paperwork.

What happened? Robotic workers were used to process COVID antibody testing and oximetry processing for clinically vulnerable patients, with automated appointment bookings and automated reporting reducing administration for clinicians and admin staff. The antibody testing process required a large resource of staff to process patients as fast as possible under COVID pressures, with a team of admin staff looking at processing up to 36,000 patients in Dorset for a period of 8 weeks. The CCG would have struggled with this as all available admin staff had been repurposed to other areas of the NHS, but they were able to build the automation process in the Blue Prism cloud in just 5 days. This process contacted patients, set up booking requests for testing, and returned results via SMS. The CCG estimate that around 56,000 hours of staff time was saved in total.

Looking ahead. The CCG is currently working on a process to help the electronic staff record system in automating staff-onboarding and off-boarding, and expects to see great improvements in the levels of service offered to patients as a result of automation.

GP Automate

Overview: GP Automate uses RPA technology to automate everyday tasks, freeing up clinician time.

Why? GP Automate was developed in the NHS by the NHS by a GP partner of 14 years, in direct response to the unsustainability of general practice.

What happened? RPA technology is used to automate lab reports, patient registrations and Accurx floreys, giving clinical staff time to focus on more meaningful work and better clinical outcomes. With the potential to work 24 hours per day and 7 days per week without the need for breaks, GP Automate is saving over 4 hours of workload every day by automating processes, translating into a cost saving of up to £9.70 per patient per year. The technology also supports morale and job satisfaction among staff by removing mundane, repetitive tasks. GP Automate has been implemented at Premier Medical Centre in London for 8 weeks, and has recently been deployed at three other GP practices in Brent. 

Looking ahead. GP Automate is transforming how general practice operates, saving time and costs and providing a roadmap of new automations designed for the NHS to improve long-time sustainability of primary care.


Overview: Willows Medical Centre deployed X-on’s flagship product Surgery Connect at practice level and then across the entire Willows Health PCN.

Why? Willows Medical Centre was “struggling to get lines in and out, especially during peak hours,” said CIO Kieran Mann. The site wanted a provider to help them transition to cloud.

What happened? Following the deployment of Surgery Connect at Willows Medical Centre, the other sites in the PCN migrated to X-on’s platform, servicing around 46,000 patients. Kieran highlighted particular benefits of the platform including seamless integration with SystmOne; support for remote working; utilisation of X-on Contact Centre technology; and the ability to help improve CQC ratings for acquired practices through improvement of phone system and patient experience. Kieran called the reporting capability of Surgery Connect “phenomenal” and added that the “biggest and most exciting thing” for the PCN is the way it supports them in merging all sites into one unit, creating more efficiency and resilience.

Looking ahead. The PCN is keen to utilise Surgery Connect’s reporting abilities to continue to improve. It is also looking forward to sharing learnings with other PCNs to create a wider impact, through providing blueprints of their own improvements through X-on’s platform.

Eva Health Technologies

Overview: Eva Health Technologies collaborated with clinicians to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme by providing modern, fast and reliable software across NHS COVID vaccination sites.

Why?  With clinicians voicing concerns about the legacy system, particularly ease of use, clinical safety, throughput speed, quality of reporting and reliability, NHS Digital put out a call in December 2020 for fast, intuitive and reliable software to support the vaccination programme. eVacc was designed to maximise the benefits of user-centred design, with cloud-based, internet-first technologies.

What happened? Eva Health Technologies decided to build a new platform and in less than six months progressed from the first line of code in AWS to a fully assured solution, tested to take the full vaccination load of England without crashing. The software is targeted to help clinicians and volunteers safely deliver rapidly changing JCVI guidance for NHS England approved cohorts, and owing to the browser-based and device-agnostic design, eVacc can support vaccine delivery across a range of care settings and pop-up locations. It was the first alternative to be assured by NHS Digital. Within one year, it scaled to support 63 PCNs, recorded over 1.4 million vacinnations, and reported 0 percent downtime.

Looking ahead. Current users recommend eVacc to others; one PCN using the platform commented that staff found it easy to use with a smooth process, and they would “definitely recommend to all other PCNs”.


Overview: MedelScan AI case-finding software uses clinician-built algorithms to capture disease features from electronic patient records and matches them against diagnostic criteria for hundreds of rare and hard-to-diagnose diseases. MendelScan is currently implemented in 64 GP practices.

Why? Rare disease symptoms often develop gradually and in different organ systems, which means that patients present to different doctors for seemingly independent reasons, making these diseases difficult to diagnose.

What happened? MendelScan has case-finding criteria for hard-to-diagnose diseases encoded into its digital library, ready to apply to any medical record system. It uses clinician-built algorithms to capture disease features from electronic patient records across entire populations and matches them against the diagnostic criteria for hundreds of thousands of hard-to-diagnose diseases. MendelScan runs bespoke algorithms to detect early signs and symptoms, requiring no management from the GP, and integrates seamlessly into clinical systems.

Looking ahead. By diagnosing patients with these diseases earlier, patients and their families will experience better patient outcomes and quality of life. MendelScan’s work also continues to save money for the NHS, as early diagnosis can “save the need for 33 patient interactions ranging from lab tests, investigations, clinical visits and specialist referrals”.