Here we take a look at all of the entries for the Health Tech Awards 2023 category of ‘Innovation of the Year’.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and Altera Digital Health
Overview: Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW) and Altera Digital Health developed a digital infrastructure clinic, Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) within Altera’s Sunrise electronic patient record. The VFC is a service designed to expedite access to orthopaedic care for patients attending A&E across MTW, providing an end-to-end digital pathway from admission in ED through to inpatient, theatre and outpatient services such as physiotherapy.
Why? Before the pathway was digitised, the referral process relied on complex spreadsheets and manual data entry. Collating information was very time consuming, which resulted in delays in patient treatment and operational inefficiencies such as transcription errors. Patient information was also inaccessible to staff outside the VFC, which meant clinical staff were unable to view the outcomes of the initial triage leading patients to wait unnecessarily in ED before teams could advise them.
What happened? The trust configured a VFC with its Altera Digital Health Sunrise EPR, digitising the entire pathway from ED to inpatient, theatre, and outpatient services. The solution was co-developed by the EPR team and the VFC clinical project team, with input from service users and clinicians. Introducing the system has reduced the duplication of printing, scanning, and data entry, saving the Trust £8,574 per annum in printing costs. Approximately 75 percent of all fracture referrals are now digital, which is saving up to eight days’ worth of admin time per month. Furthermore, Sunrise allows VFC staff direct access to inpatient records, increasing efficiency by ensuring the patient is on the correct care pathway, improving continuity of care and overall experience.
Looking ahead. Based on the success of the referral solution, the VFC has set an example for other departments, who have adopted similar approaches, highlighting the transferability of the project. The Rapid Eye Access Team are keen to explore with the EPR team simpler ways to process internal referrals. Adopting the design of the VFC solution, they will soon be using Sunrise to view and triage referrals.
Overview: Automating for effective management of Psoriasis within an Acute hospital setting, Isla is a secure platform for the capture, storage and sharing of photos, videos and structured assessment forms between patients, carers and clinicians. The enriched data collated on Isla creates a visual record, allowing for remote monitoring and assisting clinical decision-making. NUH were interested in exploring how innovation could be used to improve psoriasis treatment, utilising the core Isla platform.
Why? Of the estimated two million psoriasis sufferers in the UK, approximately 10 percent are eligible for biologic medications; a clinical pathway that requires ongoing monitoring due to the immunosuppressant nature of the medication. Due to the workload of monitoring huge numbers of patients, Nottinghamshire University Hospital (NUH) sought to streamline this process for patients and clinicians.
What happened? Clinical decision making is supported by surfacing additional data through Isla. Clinicians access longitudinal records of each patient’s condition, combining visual data with structured forms to provide insight into change over time. The data submitted on the forms allows patients to be scored on a scale of severity. Patients are sent requests seven days prior to clinic appointments where their submissions will be reviewed. Since the requests are triggered automatically by their appointment date and clinic code, the admin time needed to request this vital data is minimal. Submissions are filtered based upon psoriasis biologics form scores for caseload management and triage. Previously face-to-face appointments cost patients an estimated £30 and an average of 10.5 miles travelled. The pilot is expected to save over 800 hours for patients per year, approximately five mins per appointment in paperwork and 15 mins in consultation time, allowing more patients to be seen.
Looking ahead. Once piloted, the pathway will roll-out to all appropriate psoriasis patients at NUH undergoing biologics treatment (approximately 400), and can be replicated across all major Acute Dermatology Centres which is estimated to impact 30,000 patients. There is also scope to implement this pathway in other low risk systemic treatment pathways involving immunosuppressants.
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 91 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 1.5billion, 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, and little action from the government.
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 – the largest of its kind in Europe – 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 that 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 6 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 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% 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 £2 billion+ 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 percent+ of ICSs in the NHS, and has 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 six 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 open source 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. It is the leading solution on the market; 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 Primary Care Network (PCN). Real time performance dashboards, regional statistics, improvement metrics, and the use of AI allows practice managers to assess volume and performance. Phonebar, an app extension of Surgery Connect which consolidates GP telecoms and patient communications to a single application, 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 a 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.
Sunderland GP Alliance and Iatro
Overview: Sunderland GP Alliance (SGPA) and Iatro aim to improve digital access to primary care services in Sunderland by creating a digital front door to reduce GP and administrative workload, promote self-care, and standardise website quality to reduce inequalities in patient experience.
Why? Consultations with a range of stakeholders including GP’s, patients, practice managers and social prescribers, revealed that GP practice websites were inconsistent and of poor quality with low accessibility, which resulted in limited adoption of digital tools by patients.
What happened? There are 2 components which make up the “digital front door” in Sunderland, the Sunderland Health and Wellness Hub and enhancements to practice websites. The success of the project was measured through monitoring website traffic, adoption of digital tools, standardisation of practice websites, and reduction of disparities in patient experience. Uplifting the GP practices in Sunderland to a new website platform ensures consistency and high-quality accessibility across all practices. To ensure a seamless transition for the GP practice websites, the project was split into 4 phases and involved all 38 practices across Sunderland. The practices were moved over to Iatro’s Practice 365 website platform over a period of 6 months, with completion in February 2023. The websites provide information on a range of services, including social prescribing and self-care options, and allows patients to access their own health data, promoting digital tools such as online appointments and medical record access through the NHS App, via a secure and easy-to-use platform. The project has already provided patients with better quality websites, increased access to digital services, and raised awareness and referrals to other services, to date 375 self-referrals for social prescribing have been completed through the new digitised form in websites.A website audit was completed to gauge the accessibility of the practice websites before and after the Practice365 solution was installed. Prior to the new installations, nine different website providers were used across the region, and only 16 percent were compliant with modern accessibility guidelines. After the new websites were implemented, all websites achieved 100 percent accessibility compliance. Data shows an uplift in quality of sites from an average of 64% to 81% since migrating to the new GP practice website platform and central hub solution.
Looking ahead. Learning and outcomes are being shared with NHS England transformation team as part of national research, and the project team is working on scaling up the project to improve access to digital primary care services across the wider region.
Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS FT and Nexus Patient Record
Overview: System transformation through iterative in-house development, and planned integration with procured solutions to meet clinical and operational needs of users, enhancing user experience of care provision.
Why? To consolidate core applications including clinical hub, eReferrals, base and ward tracker, and eDischarge, into a singular system, allowing single sign-on, improved user interface, improved interoperability, and fully auditable Position Based Access Control (PBAC).
What happened? A roll-out plan was developed to cover Clinical Safety and Information Governance statutory requirements, testing scripts, communication plans, training materials (launched in-app), training sessions, migration and disaster recovery, Trust-wide bed configuration, and two go-live ‘dry-runs’. Training and deployment were further supported by two change facilitators from the Health Informatics Programme Team alongside clinical champions from each ward/service area across the organisation. In early June 2022, a version update to the Clinical Hub functionality was released within NPR, and this was followed by a ‘big-bang go-live’ deployment of the Patient Tracker Functionality and Bed management functionality in September 2022. NPR currently has 5805 users and is integrated with the trust’s EPMA, EDMS and the Lancashire Shared Care Record via patient context through single user sign-on. There have been seven NPR version updates since system go-live reflecting user enhancement requests and technical enhancements for system optimisation. Six months post-go live, a user survey was conducted to assess NPR’s mission statement against perceptions and experiences of users, finding 99 percent of respondents used NPR on a daily basis, and 88 percent felt that NPR was well embedded in daily clinical and operational practice within their area of work.
Looking ahead. Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS FT and NPR hope to continue to roll-out enhancements based on user feedback and the emergence of added functionality including clinical noting.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Maternity and Neo-natal Service
Overview: A digital maternity information system replacement programme to provide the biggest improvement in maternity care across Nottinghamshire in over a decade.
Why? The need was identified for a better digital information system to create true alignment of care across the county, eradicate barriers for pregnant people to access the services they want, and to modernise into nation-leading digital-first centres of excellence in maternity and neo-natal care.
What happened? £1.7 million of Unified Tech Fund NHS England funding was secured to support the project, by demonstrating how it would save clinical time through increased efficiency of staff, reduction in data duplication, removal of delays in discharge and transfer and dozens of other adjustments to process and benefits of digitisation. Within a year, the team scoped, procured, process mapped, configured, tested and deployed BadgerNet. Recruiting a specialised digital team, including six digital clinicians, impact was limited on the service through a time of critical pressure at both Trusts. Using data migration to enable a rapid deployment at the point of Go Live, all 12,000 patients across the two trusts were transitioned over four go live launches within four weeks. The result has been a significant improvement to patient care, interoperability between NUH and SFH and staff satisfaction with maternity digital systems. It became a pilot site for NHS login for Clevermed nationally. 87 percent have transitioned to using digital notes to access their own record. They are being seen faster in community, and love the digitised leaflet library. £390,000 a year has been saved by moving to a cheaper system and tens of thousands of pounds saved on printing, scanning and storing paper.
Looking ahead. The system enables compliance with mandatory BSOTs guidelines for triage. Future developments are now possible include integrating eObservations and CTG charts which will further improve outcomes for staff.
Imprivata and The Royal Marsden NHS FT
Overview: The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has implemented Imprivata OneSign® to provide clinicians with fast access to patients records held in Epic.
Why? To overcome slow login times affecting user adoption and patient care, with Connect, Royal Marsden NHS FT’s new EPR solution.
What happened? Imprivata OneSign® Single Sign On (SSO) was rolled out to 1,700 clinicians across the Trust, used on kiosks, workstations and multiple user devices. The clinician simply taps the card reader for the workstation, kiosk or device to unlock it, the desktop unlocks and the Epic Connect application is loaded and logged in automatically. The clinician accesses the details they need, records their activity and taps their card to lock, and the desktop is locked again. Sensitive patient information is secured, and the clinician doesn’t need to remember complex login details. Licence utilisation for Imprivata is almost at full capacity at 94.8 percent, meaning that user adoption is high. During a seven-day period in which systems were monitored, there were 141,092 logins using Imprivata. During the same period, logins for multiple user devices were monitored and timed. The logins would have previously taken 627,250 seconds. Using the new Imprivata OneSign SSO for accelerated logins reduced the time to just 125,450 seconds. The total time saving created was 501,800 seconds or 139 hours per week, the full time equivalent of three and a half extra Band 5 nurses, or an equivalent monetary saving of £100,251 per year.
Looking ahead. Imprivata and Royal Marsden hope to continue to work on improving the solution to further save clinician time.
Polygeist & Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Overview: Using AI to provide real-time patient risk and long stay prediction at Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Why? Reducing long stays in hospital is a national priority for NHS England, and forms a key plank in the NHS Recovery Plan, reducing the risks associated with longer stays.
What happened? In partnership with Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS AI Skunkworks and the government’s Accelerated Capability Environment, a proof of concept risk stratification tool was developed. As the AI could identify those long stayers on their presentation at the emergency department, the technology was widely publicised, and moved into phase two – integration into the hospital electronic patient records system. Every observation captured by nursing staff and prescribing clinicians, along with all diagnostic test results, can be processed in real time, as they are entered into the EPR. This technology has been privately trialled, and can predict over 99 percent of long-stayer patients. The length of stay was highly accurate, with the average error within just 12 hours of the actual patient discharge time, over a 30 day period. Using population data, key risk factors contributing to that patient’s stay can be flagged to clinicians; this enables them to plan for potential blockers. Analytical assessment suggests that clinicians could safely reduce the average stay between one and five days per long-staying patient. Over 7000 lives per year, nationally, can be saved simply by identifying those high risk patients and discharging five days earlier; based on statistical analysis of the GHNHSFT data, and national mortality statistics. Early discharge reduces readmission rates by 50 percent, projecting 3.15 million bed days per year freed nationally.
Looking ahead. The technology is being developed to establish virtual wards of high risk patients, explore real-time risk alerts, and to allow GPs in the area to use the technology, before a patient reaches the hospital.
Overview: A hybrid human and digital personalised cancer care partnership for greater equity of access and better patient outcomes.
Why? One in two people diagnosed with cancer will not start or complete cancer treatment due to poor health or complications. An affordable prehabilitation solution could help reduce these complications for cancer patients.
What happened? ESNEFT and Alvie co-created the first hybrid digital plus local service in the NHS, with an AI-driven 3600 health profile and risk-stratification algorithm/dashboard stratifying patients to different levels of support. High-risk patients are sign-posted to hospital-based specialist AHPs, with low-moderate risk groups receiving technology-enabled guidance and support. Seamless referrals to Alvie are made through a simple online referral portal. Contrary to published research, where step count deteriorates by 15 percent in chemo patients; weekly step count increased from 19,000 steps to 40,000 steps in the first two weeks and plateaued. Distress and anxiety measured on the validated emotional distress scale fell significantly and contrary to published research where quality of life falls by 11 percent in patients on chemotherapy, patients’ EQ5D5L health utility improved by 7 percent and EQ-Visual analogue scale by 17 percent. Median post-op hospital stay in colorectal patients is 5 days – one day less than the national average – cost savings were calculated of £971 per patient, delivering an ROI to ESNEFT of 320 percent.
Looking ahead. The Alvie-ESNEFT partnership provides a blueprint for improving access to personalised care across the NHS. Alvie is replicating the ESNEFT model, to become the digital solution for patient choice and equitable access.
Overview: Answer Digital built and deployed the software behind an innovative deployment & federated learning platform that transforms AI implementation and value delivery in healthcare.
Why? The process for deploying AI apps at NHS trusts currently runs on the months-to-years’ time scale because of the bespoke connectivity and hardware issues that need to be solved each time a new product gets deployed.
What happened? The AI Deployment Engine (AIDE), allows healthcare providers to deploy AI models safely, effectively, and efficiently by enabling the integration of AI models into clinical workflows. AIDE is now deployed in 10 NHS trusts. Through connection to a live stream of clinical data, clinicians can access real-time AI analysis deployed within hours. AIDE’s unified infrastructure allows multiple algorithms to run simultaneously through bespoke APIs. This provides NHS trusts with the capability to run multiple AI solutions on a single platform. AIDE lowers the barrier to deploying clinical AI allowing individual trusts to speed up the AI transformation of patient pathways. The Federated Learning Interoperability Platform (FLIP) helps to link data from multiple NHS trusts to enable AI at scale. Our federated learning approach brings algorithms to the data within each NHS trust’s secure enclave, without the need to share information outside the organisation or break local governance rules. The Federated Learning Interoperability Platform (FLIP) ensures a high level of fidelity in AI output models compared to traditional aggregative data strategies because the data it trains on does not need to be anonymised before use, ensuring adherence to each trust’s governance and data privacy regulations whilst ensuring that AI models are scalable.
Looking ahead. Answer Digital are excited about the prospects that a platform-based approach to AI deployment will bring to the NHS.
Overview: PATCHS is a next generation online consultation system powered by artificial intelligence triage and workflows, helping practices manage rising demand whilst improving patient access.
Why? PATCHS helps tackle key issues in primary care, including workload management, health inequalities, and long waiting times.
What happened? PATCHS is a fastest-growing online consultation solution, supporting 1,000+ GP practices and 10m+ patients. It enables easy two-way communication between patients and their GP practice. It has been implemented at-scale across multiple regions including North West London (2.2m patients), Cheshire and Merseyside (2.7m patients), West Yorkshire (2.7m patients) and North Central London (400k patients). Results have shown improvements in workload management including 85 percent of all requests being dealt with fully online, a 20 percent reduction in self-care patients submitting requests, and only 22 percent of health requests requiring a face-to-face appointment. Telephone calls reduced by 50 percent, clinical safety improved thanks to PATCHS AI which is estimated to detect 94 percent of all urgent and emergency patient requests, and waiting times were reduced with an average resolution time for a high usage PATCHS region of 5.6 hours. On an inclusivity basis, UoM research found that many older patients found PATCHS easier to navigate than expected and it was their preferred method for contacting the GP practice, whilst patients who struggle with telephone or in-person appointments find it easier to use PATCHS.
Looking ahead. The PATCHS team plans on continuing to develop the system and to roll it out across more regions to enable even more benefits for primary care.
Overview: In collaboration with NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, digital perioperative care (Surgery Hero) was used to identify high-risk individuals on the waiting list (C2-Ai technology) and provide targeted support.
Why? To help solve the waiting list crisis in the Cheshire and Merseyside region.
What happened? Surgery Hero is an innovative health coaching app designed to support patients before and after surgery. It offers personalised guidance from health coaches, meal plans, exercise videos, and goal-setting features. High-risk individuals were referred for individualised prehabilitation, focusing on improving overall health and wellness before surgery. 58 percent of patients previously deemed unfit for surgery were declared “fit for surgery” as a result of participation in the program, accompanied by a significant reduction of 2.6 days in the length of hospital stay and a cost saving of £1110 per patient, enabling greater throughput of patients and reducing the burden on healthcare resources. A Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 80 showed patients who participated in the program demonstrated high satisfaction and a strong likelihood to recommend Surgery Hero’s perioperative care. A 65 percent reduction in post-operative complications and a 0 percent rate of hospital-acquired pneumonia cases among the patient sample indicated the effectiveness of the approach. Furthermore, the collaboration between Surgery Hero and CIPHA has proven invaluable in generating actionable insights and facilitating continuous care across primary and secondary care settings. This integration has enabled the delivery of comprehensive, data-driven care to patients while optimising resource allocation.
Looking ahead. Surgery Hero hopes to continue to enhance the surgical experience and support patients on their journey to better health.