Here we take a look at the Health Tech Awards 2023 category of ‘Best Health Tech Solution of the Year’.
Overview: Turning the tide on staff morale, improving culture and driving continuous, everyday improvement.
Why? Health and care systems globally are under increasing pressure to deliver better care at lower cost, and the recent NHS Staff Survey has revealed the true scale of work-related stress, burnout, and intention to leave.
What happened? ImproveWell developed a real-time feedback solution for continuous improvement and everyday innovation in health and care. The evidence-based solution has been shaped in partnership with over 60 healthcare organisations in the UK and US. After being implemented over the last 12 months at The Rosebrook PICU, Senior Staff Nurse Leigh Ferris states that “whilst before we were haemorrhaging staff, in the last 12 months we haven’t lost a single staff member”. Results at The Burns Service, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS FT have also seen a significant increase in the number of staff members who feel they can easily share ideas, from 57 percent to 9 percent. Finally, following success at trust level, the RCP launched the national Enjoying Work collaborative, which saw 38 healthcare teams across 16 UK healthcare organisations test ideas on the factors contributing to joy in work and wellbeing, and the solution has also since been rolled-out in the US, Canada and Kenya. Results from the RCP programme showed a 51 percent increase in people who enjoyed being at work frequently, as well as a 41 percent increase in the percentage of people experiencing no symptoms of burnout.
Looking ahead. ImproveWell will continue to support the roll-out of its solution at local, national and international levels, turning the tide on staff morale and fostering continuous, everyday improvement.
Overview: The home health tech scale-up helping older adults live longer, healthier lives in their own home.
Why? By 2050, the number of people aged over 65 will surpass 1.5 billion, but the UK’s social care sector is not prepared to handle this ageing population, with staff shortages of 165,000 of waiting lists of up to half a million.
What happened? Birdie launched in 2017 with the aim to use technology to fundamentally transform ageing. The SaaS-based solution enables over 800 providers to deliver three million hours of care each month, whilst also enabling better management of day-to-day operations, through an all-in-one solution for the care providers. 78 percent of users save up to 15 hours per week on day-to-day operations, allowing for a 35 percent increase in capacity to handle tasks within one year. Providers found the number of missed visits dropped by 82 percent after a year, and the amount of alerts taking more than 72 hours to resolve fell by 21 percent. An 18-month research project with Fosse Healthcare showed every care recipient said Birdie’s platform had reassured them, whilst in just six months, a third of care recipients had medical assistance or a review of care needs due to abnormalities detected in the data. Every participating GP service reported that the process had improved the level of care provided, producing a consistent standard of care while enabling remote decision making.
Looking ahead. Birdie plans to extend this research project to gain better visibility of older adults’ health and enable preventative care and early intervention. It also hopes to use its data set to extract precise insights about current and future needs of care recipients.
Overview: Transforming remote diagnosis of neurological conditions.
Why? For many years, the treatment of neurological conditions such as epilepsy has relied on patients attending regular clinic appointments in order to update the clinical team on the way that their condition is changing, developing or responding to treatment.
What happened? Islacare has worked closely with clinicians to implement the Isla visual record and create a seamless mechanism for patients, their parents, other family members and carers to regularly update the clinical team on their progress. A web-based platform enables clinical teams to collect information from patients including video footage, images, and patient reported outcomes through a fully-automated process. This improves insight into patient condition, and speeds up diagnosis, allowing patients to progress along the pathway to Seizure Psychology clinics in a more timely manner. The solution is also cost-saving, preventing admission of patients for video-EEG in many cases. It has been used to monitor over 500 patients to date, and has received excellent feedback from patients, with 45 out of 46 respondents to a recent survey saying they would recommend the digital pathway to friends.
Looking ahead. Islacare plans to continue to welcome more clinicians to the platform to enable more patients with neurological conditions to be remotely diagnosed and monitored.
Overview: Self-Book independent evaluation report
Why? For decades, appointment booking in general practice has typically taken place over the phone, which is unnecessarily time-consuming for patients and staff, blocking phone lines and delaying access to primary care.
What happened? Accurx launched Self-Book, which allows patients to book appointments using a specific link sent from their GP surgery, and for this appointment data to be integrated into the underlying clinical system, such as EMIS or SystmOne. In early 2023, Accurx commissioned Prova Health and Unity Insights to conduct an independent and impartial analysis of the solution, with 14 practices using the feature agreeing to send surveys out to their patients, and receiving 1,616 responses. Findings showed 46 percent of GP practices nationally are using Self-Book; Self-Book offers savings for PCNs of a minimum of £105,000 over five years through cutting DNAs and reducing phone calls; if scaled nationally, the solution would bring benefits of at least £123 million over five years to primary care in England; and 77 percent of patients found using the solution easier than calling their practice to make an appointment. All practices reported a reduction in the number of calls received, and all practice staff interviewed said it had saved their practice time.
Looking ahead. Accurx hopes to continue to roll out its Self-Book solution to save practice hours on a national basis.
Overview: Workflow Go offers practices a robust workflow process and an improved solution to training staff and saving GP time.
Why? The Workflow Go programme started as one of six trial work streams designed to free up GP time, born from the EPiC funding (the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund: Improving Access) announced in 2015.
What happened? Launched in 2016, Workflow Go has released over 1 million GP hours to date, working with more than 3,000 UK practices and PCNs, training more than 12,000 practice staff, and supporting the NHS Digital Transformation Plan. Starting as a 12-week training session for a number of practices across Brighton and Hove, NHSE challenged Practice Unbound to train 50 practices in a six-month period, using the in-built Data Dashboard Summary to provide a high-level overview of the impact of Workflow Go, quantifying the number of GP hours released. Comparing learner data from March – June 2021 and March – June 2022, it showed a 64 percent rise in the number of users utilising the learning modules, and a 56 percent rise in the number of users that completed the full learning programme. The latest survey revealed that 80 percent of users were satisfied or very satisfied with Workflow Go, and that 87 percent of users would rate the solution as “good”, or “excellent” as an online trading provider.
Looking ahead. Practice Unbound hopes to go from strength to strength by allowing trained admin staff to process clinical correspondence, helping relieve pressure on GPs.
Overview: Agilio TeamNet and My Locum Manager present seamless workforce solutions to ease primary care’s crisis of demand.
Why? To tackle the increasing pressures on primary care workforces of excessive administrative workloads, which are exacerbating the existing staff shortages, and compromising the quality of patient care.
What happened? Agilio took its operations management software, Agilio TeamNet and, through its work with PCNs and ICBs, introduced My Locum Manager (MLM) as a seamlessly integrable tool, to supercharge TeamNet’s existing workforce and HR capabilities. This created a community-focused staff bank solution, which gives the power back to healthcare professionals by allowing them to work more flexibly whilst benefitting from GP support and CPD opportunities. From an organisational perspective, TeamNet + MLM enables Practice Managers and PCNs to access a wider pool of clinicians, nurses, and ARRS roles, creating a trusted network of staff that can be relied on again and again, increasing sessional capacity, and contributing to the sustainability of the sector. When used by Nottinghamshire ICB, it successfully helped to fill more than 1,772 shifts within a six-month period, also resulting in better staff morale through peer support, easier access to mandatory training, clinical knowledge, and locus support.
Looking ahead. Agilio hopes to continue to provide a single platform which can empower healthcare providers with innovative tools that enable adaptation, foster excellence, and support sustainability in the sector.
Overview: Pathology Go was developed to offer the safe delegation and processing of high-volume, low risk blood test results to trained administrators.
Why? To save GP time through tackling the increasing demand for testing in primary care.
What happened? An initial pilot project with Oxted Health Centre was launched to work on the governance framework and training required to empower administrators to process routine blood results on behalf of GPs. An online programme, Pathology Go, was then launched to deliver the same benefits across the UK, delivering eLearning tools and resources to enable practices to delegate tests. Work with 20 early adopter practice groups was undertaken to test and adapt “decision aids” which gave administrators a clear pathway to process pathology results. To date, 248 GP practices have embarked on the training, and 1102 primary care staff members have been trained. Implementing Pathology Go has been found to save up to 10 hours per GP, per month, and reduce demand on phone lines in practices. Pathology Go also allows administrators to have more control over the stewarding of the patient journey and delivering a good service to the patients in their communities.
Looking ahead. Practice Unbound’s ambition is to continually release GP hours so they can focus their efforts on serving their communities and delivering personalised care.
Overview: Cylera delivers cutting-edge healthcare cybersecurity solutions such as its IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) cybersecurity and intelligence platform which safeguards health data and confidentiality.
Why? Cylera’s platform enables organisations to gain complete visibility and manage all connected assets, become proactive in their defence and security of their devices, and stay compliant with government regulations, leaving healthcare organisations to focus on patient care.
What happened? Cylera is trusted by over 125 hospitals, healthcare providers and medical device manufacturers worldwide, tripling its customer headcount and achieving a 300 percent increase in global revenue year-on-year since 2021. In a 12-month period it has grown its UK customer base six-fold, and deployed solutions in over 25 NHS trusts in England and Wales. Advanced analytics capabilities and customisable reporting features, as well as an NHS Cyber Alert Dashboard, help NHS trusts identify and respond quickly to cyber threat notifications. The platform integrates with some of the world’s most recognised tech companies and feeds in-depth knowledge of clinical IoT/IoMT behaviour, protocols, medical workflows, patient safety, and privacy considerations with the partner’s on-premises security solutions, ensuring that no asset is left unprotected. Eliminating manual processes and streamlining the identification, attribution, risk assessment, and remediation of healthcare assets leads to savings of approximately $999,000 over the course of three years and reduction of 15,000 IoT/IoMT replacement devices.
Looking ahead. Cylera hopes to continue to radically transform healthcare cybersecurity globally.
Overview: C2-Ai’s AI-backed prioritisation system for the elective waiting list is delivering significant NHS-reported improvements
Why? C2-Ai’s solution is intended to tackle elective waiting lists, which it identifies as “the biggest healthcare challenge for generations”.
What happened? NHS-reported improvements included an 8 percent reduction in emergency admissions, a reduction of 125 bed-days per 1,000 patients, and a potential saving of £2billion+ and 6-20,000 surgeon-years of time. The system also supports capacity planning plus prioritisation of those waiting for operations to identify patients the right risk profile and modifiable health issues who are suitable for intensive health coaching. This has delivered a 56 percent reduction in all cause complications post-operatively, 4.2 days average reduction in length of stay, £1100 saving per patient and a Net Promotor Score of 80. This has been adopted across the region and in 30%+ of ICS’s in the NHS, been published in the BMJ and CUREUS with papers highlighting the accuracy of the system’s detailed clinical risk assessment. It has been recommended as an NHSX Blueprint and included in GIRFT guidelines for hospitals. Fast clearing of elective waiting list backlog with improved clinical prioritisation of patients was observed within 6 weeks of starting the programme, with a 27.1 percent reduction in patients waiting >52 weeks.
Looking ahead. C2-Ai looks to continue to provide a solution to reduce elective waiting lists across the NHS.
Overview: Everon’s mission is to deliver innovative digital living solutions which support vulnerable individuals to live productive and independent lives.
Why? Jewish Care faced several challenges in the day-to-day delivery of services to tenants in their care. The system prior to Everon was restrictive and limiting, impacting negatively on staff efficiency and confidence. One such challenge was tenants’ inability to activate their pendants outside of the location of their apartments. If someone was in a corridor or in other locations across the site, they would not be able to raise an alert into the system and notify a member of staff that they needed support.
What happened? The Lyra platform is a fully digital, intelligent, cloud-based solution, designed to provide individually tailored support across multiple care settings. Operating with open APIs and capable of integrating with health, housing, and social care data, it uses AI to enable commissioners to deliver proactive services. Helping to monitor activity and quickly detect changes, the solution improves quality of life and prevents decline. Carers can manage and respond to alerts using the Everon App which is available across Android and iOS devices. Everon has developed an integrated digital platform that streamlines data management and communication among care providers. The platform consolidates tenant information, care plans, medication records, and real-time updates. It enables secure, instant access to critical information, fostering efficient collaboration and coordinated care delivery. Tenants experience improved access to care, increased safety, and better health outcomes through remote monitoring, timely interventions, and virtual consultations. Tenants also experience increased independence, whilst families gain peace of mind from real-time updates and remote monitoring.
Looking ahead. Everon hopes to continue helping housing and care providers to take care of their residents.
Overview: Babblevoice is a high quality, flexible, easy-to-use cloud telephony system specifically designed for primary care.
Why? A one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for the NHS because each surgery has unique requirements. Babblevoice is innovatively designed to be highly adaptive so it can precisely meet the needs of each practice and their local community.
What happened? Babblevoice maximises patient access to surgeries via patients’ most familiar and frequently used channel – the telephone. Use of the Babblevoice system enables surgeries to connect with, respond and resolve high volumes of incoming patient calls quickly and efficiently. Due to its adaptable design, surgeries can configure Babblevoice telephony to fit around and support their ways of working. Patients can self-select using their handset to proceed as they choose (e.g. wait, call back, automated appointment booking). This frees up receptionists’ time so that the patients that benefit the most from speaking directly to surgery staff – can get through quicker. Practice managers and reception staff gain access via Babblevoice to real-time critical data that helps them to manage workflows more efficiently (e.g. call volumes, staff availability). Desktop mode enables clinicians to call patients with a single mouse-click. Seamless integration with NHS patient record systems enables clinicans to simply and swiftly access records mid-call. Staff can efficiently work remotely via Babblevoice softphone and mobile phones. Together with all practice staff, they can activate a custom-designed disaster recovery plan at the touch of a button to minimise the impact on patients should something unexpected happen (e.g. a flash flood).
Looking ahead. Babblevoice is keen to continue to work with primary care practices to provide a telephony solution suited to their individual needs.
Overview: Baywater Healthcare’s virtual ward is a web-based platform which allows patients and providers to access the same patient data from any location.
Why? The system’s intelligent workflow automation helps streamline the care process and reduce administrative burdens on clinicians.
What happened? The virtual ward solution was developed with clinicians during COVID-19, to help ensure they could meet the needs of their patients. The service was rapidly mobilised within two weeks to provide a means of monitoring patients remotely. This reduced pressures on NHS hospitals by enabling patients to self-manage, and promoted faster interventions, leading to a higher chance of survival and quicker recovery time, with an average of four to five days in hospital compared to a national average of 15 days between March 2020 and September 2020. Patients are provided with monitoring equipment to track their vital signs, such as blood oxygen levels and heart rate. This equipment transmits data to healthcare professionals in real time, allowing them to track patients’ progress and intervene if necessary. Built-in video conferencing software lets patients access virtual consultations with healthcare professionals to receive medical advice and support without leaving their homes. Supporting over 7,500 patients since November 2020, the service retained a consistent escalation rate of 18-22 percent into secondary care and the length of stay for patients admitted with signs of deterioration from the ward was much lower than the national average.
Looking ahead. Baywater Healthcare hope to continue delivering their virtual ward solution to reduce administrative burdens and promote intelligent workflow automation.
Overview: blueBriX empowers innovators, start-ups, enterprise level Pharma and healthcare providers with the technology required to easily build, launch, and scale compliant digital health solutions with unrivalled speed to market.
Why? Founders were shocked by the cost of digital health software and immediately set to work in developing an opensource solution that enabled healthcare providers to benefit from advancing technology for simple healthcare processes, like Electronic Health Records keeping and Medical Billing, without the hefty price tag.
What happened? Today, blueBriX low-code-no-code platform boasts a large library of configurable functional modules, SDKs, Microservices & APIs – with key examples including: acute care, ambulatory care, dental health, behavioural health, telemedicine, care coordination, patient engagement, revenue cycle, medication adherence, vitals and symptom monitoring, and more. blueBrIX enables stakeholders to create digital health solutions that easily connect and integrate with the wider healthcare ecosystem, from pre-existing digital systems and medical devices through to laboratories, prescription networks, clearing houses, HIXs, IoTs, and consumer wearables. Now employing a team of 200+ tech specialists, blueBriX has already transformed operations, clinical workflow and standards of care for over 18,000 healthcare providers, while positively impacting the lives of millions of patients worldwide.
Looking ahead. In the next three years, blueBriX wants to become the preferred partner for Pharma companies in developing their digital health ambitions and to be the premier solution for integrated care providers in delivering holistic care covering all areas of therapy.
Overview: Surgery Connect is X-on Health’s multi-award winning, flagship cloud-telephony system; designed and developed specifically to meet the evolving needs of NHS general practice.
Why? Surgery Connect can deliver key improvements mentioned in the Primary Care Plan. These include an end to busy tones for patients, and integration with critical GP record systems.
What happened? Surgery Connect supports communication via voice, SMS, and video, so GPs are equipped to reach patients via any channel required. It also incorporates a way of securely requesting photos from patients and storing them to the clinical system. Patient Callback means that patients can be automatically called back, instead of being left waiting in a queue. Self-serve features enable patients to conduct basic transactions themselves. Administration staff have visibility of call queues so they can re-route calls during busy times to other surgeries within a PCN. Real-time performance dashboards, regional statistics, improvement metrics, and the use of AI allows practice managers to assess volume and performance. There is also Phonebar, an app extension of Surgery Connect which consolidates GP telecoms and patient communications to a single application, which was initially launched to 54 surgeries in 2022 and is now used in 600 surgeries. Call recordings and SMS communications can be filed back to the GP record; creating a more seamless working environment for GPs and joined-up service for patients. Surgery Connect has an 99+ percent customer retention rate over a 10-year period.
Looking ahead. X-on Health wants to continue to develop Surgery Connect, and improve connectivity with the SystmOne version, which is set to be launched imminently.
Overview: Sharing patient data between acute and community providers to support the continuation of care in stroke rehabilitation at Nottinghamshire Healthcare FT.
Why? Sharing information between clinical teams at different organisations poses security risks and information governance issues which often prevent clinical teams from accessing patient data. Stroke rehabilitation is a complex pathway involving many multi-disciplinary teams, and this poses interoperability issues.
What happened? Islacare’s solution has been used within the acute care setting to capture videos of patients on the stroke wards, baselining patient’s rehabilitation therapies and monitoring their progress on the ward. The clinical team at Nottinghamshire Healthcare FT have been able to review the patient’s record and capture relevant data using the platform, and this capture and sharing of data has enabled different organisations to work collaboratively to support patient care and enhance ESD. A reduction of time spent on inreach from 2 hours to 30 minutes per patient has been observed, and full implementation of the model results in a saving of 540 clinical hours annually per NHS Trust. Referrals reduce time patients spend. waiting for orthotics, reducing time to treatment and the need to monitor the patient for any potential deterioration whilst waiting for their orthotics.
Looking ahead. Islacare hopes to continue the positive impact of its solution to promote continuation of care and information sharing amongst multi-disciplinary teams, for patients recovering from stroke.