Up next: finalists in the category of Innovation in Health and Care.
Birdie – the intelligent platform for homecare
Overview: Birdie seeks to reinvent care through innovative technology, enabling older adults to thrive at home through a platform built to drive critical efficiencies and further person-centric care.
Why? The UK’s care sector is in crisis, with over 152,000 industry jobs are vacant and over seven million people waiting for elective care. Combine all of this with a creaky digital system decades behind other industries and the need for a solution becomes urgent.
What happened? Birdie’s platform equips agencies with the digital tooling they need and draws upon data and insight to “really help them go beyond what they thought possible.” It enables better management of day-to-day operations through an all-in-one SaaS solution available through mobile and web apps, including payroll management, shift scheduling, customer analytics, and many other functions. It enables care providers and care professionals to log everything on one centralised digital system. Everything the team does – from product development to customer onboarding – is in close collaboration. As a result, care providers save both time and money; capacity to handle tasks increases by 35 percent within one year of using Birdie. The number of visits missed drops by 82 percent after one year, while the number of alerts that take over 72 hours to resolve falls by 21 percent. Birdie participated in a collaborative study with Fosse Healthcare and the NHS to test an ‘early warning’ system, based on data collected through Birdie’s platform. The results, published in 2022, revealed it had saved time and improved job satisfaction.
Looking ahead. In 2022, Birdie achieved a $30m series B investment round. Its priority is to expand its capabilities and exploit more data. It has already signed new partners in Spain and is actively looking at expansion into Ireland, France, and Germany.
Overview: Two decades of democratising access to health tech innovation, starting with a mission to make interoperability a possibility.
Why? Will Temple spent the earlier days of his career helping medical facilities set up their technology infrastructure and quickly saw a pattern. Clinicians could only access their systems on-premise, which meant they were often stuck working late hours and unable to access their systems and medical records remotely.
What happened? Meddbase started as an EHR, meeting customer demands including clinical safety, information security, compliance and a complete digital journey covering booking, billing and reporting. Offering bespoke implementations, the team work closely with customers for onboarding, offering strategic workshops during implementation to help redefine their business process in light of the new capabilities the solution offers. The solution is designed to enable reporting on every aspect of the business, allowing the migration of data easily and without disrupting business continuity. Every feature or module in Meddbase originates from a challenge or a problem that healthcare customers were trying to solve. Whether it is scaling their operations, improving patient experience, or reducing admin for their clinicians, Meddbase say that all of their features have been driven by their customers.
Looking ahead. Meddbase is committed to propelling technological progress in the healthcare sector, particularly through the SaaS delivery model, and hopes to continue to enhance digital interoperability between private and public sector care providers.
Overview: Mobile health solution Lifeness is designed to enhance obesity treatment. With a significant increase in weight loss outcomes and user engagement, Lifeness proves to be a promising solution, transforming lives and redefining the fight against obesity.
Why? Obesity, a multifactorial chronic disease, demands regular follow-ups for successful long-term weight loss. However, the healthcare sector often grapples with limited resources and a lack of user-friendly technology tools. As little as 10 percent of patients are successful in long-term weight loss.
What happened? Lifeness used a design-thinking approach with inputs and testing, in a clinical setting, from patients and healthcare professionals. It offers a smartphone app for patients and a cloud-based web-app for health professionals which enables patients to communicate and log parameters like body weight and mood. Lifeness was made to support autonomy, increase motivation in treatment and improve treatment results. In order to test the effect of the m-health tool compared to other e-health solutions, a two-month trial was conducted in collaboration with UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø, with 27 adults suffering from obesity. The m-health group used Lifeness, while the control group used standard follow-up tools such as telephone, email, or SMS. The m-health group lost an average of 12 kg (-10 percent of body weight), whereas the control group lost just 2.5 kg (-2 percent of body weight) over six months. The m-health group demonstrated significantly higher weight loss and total percent weight loss after six months compared to the control group. The m-health group unanimously agreed that Lifeness had a positive impact on their overall treatment, weight-loss, and motivation.
Looking ahead. While Lifeness has already demonstrated notable improvements, more research is needed to explore its full potential. This case study stands as a testament to the potential of m-health solutions in tackling global health issues.
Overview: Through seamless integration, Aternity improves patient care, empowers clinicians, and increases digital efficiency, with an expected saving of £2.5-£3 million in IT costs over five years.
Why? Riverbed embarks on a transformative journey to revolutionise IT delivery within the NHS, aligning with Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust’s (PAHT) core principles—people, place, patients, performance, and pounds whilst supporting plans for The Future Hospital Programme.
What happened? The integration of Aternity aims to optimise patient care pathways and empowers clinicians with enriched digital experiences, in perfect harmony with the core principles of ‘patients’ and ‘people.’ PAHT focuses on GIRFT (Getting it right first time) so treating patients hinges on clinicians having access to the necessary equipment and data precisely when they need it. Aternity’s integration significantly enhances productivity and digital experiences for clinicians, allowing more time for direct patient care and leading to improved healthcare outcomes. Aternity’s insights optimise patient pathways, reducing waiting times and increasing overall satisfaction, in alignment with the ‘patients’ core principle. Through Aternity’s Self Remediation capability, the partnership has proactively addressed issues, reducing Blue Screen of Death incidents by 83 percent, ensuring uninterrupted care provision. Aternity’s data-driven approach and Self Remediation capability, with up to 10,000 automations per month, mark ground-breaking practices. The hospital’s IT team proactively addresses issues, leading to a significant reduction in service desk tickets and enhanced user experience. Regular meetings with internal stakeholders, six monthly review meetings which are all aligned to the original success criteria and business case.
Looking ahead. PAHT are now working closely with Riverbed in a true partnership approach to further develop the application to meet the needs of the NHS going forward.
Overview: Care.Trials by Solve.Care is an AI-powered matchmaking network for clinical trials. Created to simplify participation in trials by connecting trial sponsors to trial participants around the world, it embodies a visionary approach that challenges traditional healthcare paradigms.
Why? At its heart lies an ethos geared toward giving individuals greater control of their healthcare journeys while seamlessly connecting all stakeholders–patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and sponsors into one connected ecosystem.
What happened? The AI algorithm matches trial participants to trials that only match their profiles and geography, doing away the need to review the over 60,000 active trials available globally. Its user-centric design prioritises individual needs, creating a seamless experience for participants as they explore, join, and engage in clinical trials. Using zero-knowledge technology protects the identity of participants, allowing them to remain anonymous, while sharing their health conditions to see if they are a match for the trial. Its robust infrastructure incorporates blockchain technology for secure, transparent, immutable data management that expedites trial processes while strengthening data integrity for more reliable medical research advancement. Users and prospective participants can quickly skim through the available trials that have been matched to their profiles by simply swiping to join a trial or pass on it. Through improved visibility into ongoing trials, seamless patient referrals, and reduced administrative tasks, physicians and clinical researchers can devote more of their time and resources towards providing quality healthcare. By streamlining participant recruitment, optimizing trial protocols, and expediting data collection quickly and efficiently, Care.Trials significantly speeds up the research and development lifecycle.
Looking ahead. Solve.Care hopes that Care.Trials will become an indispensable partner to healthcare systems worldwide for clinical studies that require transformative solutions.
Tech in Care Ltd
Overview: Tech in Care Ltd is developing a user-centred digital module building upon their product, Pathways to Care, streamlining the Intermediate Care (IC) process. It addresses stakeholder communication gaps, offering efficient data sharing, reporting, and accountability, delivering a “single version of the truth” for IC journeys.
Why? Many stakeholders cannot access the same IT systems, leading to gaps in communication and risk of not sharing pertinent information. Beyond this, many regions are using spreadsheets, emails and phone calls (or paper-written notes) to communicate, and patient information is shared via unsecured methods.
What happened? The aim was to provide a module which is a supplier agnostic, cloud-based case management system which allows users to capture, update, track and report on information about a person’s journey through the Intermediate Care process. The D2A–IC module is data-light and person-centred, providing a single version of the truth to users, with appropriate security and information governance considerations. D2A-IC facilitates more efficient communication, joined up working across organisations and data sharing. An efficient, delay-free discharge process from hospital to home with a deployed six-week care package gives people the best chance to avoid unnecessarily going back into hospital, with vital savings unlocked through the digitisation of manual processes and ability to track people through their period of intermediate care. The module supports capacity/demand planning by giving clear metrics of how many people are in the service and how many people are on the system’s waiting lists for the service and reporting features give organisations the ability to analyse, improve and commission the right services for their local population. Wakefield Council have shown significant interest in the intermediate care module since the project commenced, and we are working with the newly created Home First service to pilot the platform.
Looking ahead. Tech in Care Ltd is looking forward to continuing to improve and enhance IC processes to deliver a “single version of the truth” for IC journeys.
Harrogate & District Foundation Trust
Overview: This initiative aims to transform communication with patients after they have undergone a day surgery surgical procedure, with a personalised video message recorded by the surgeon after the operation and delivered via a secure server to the patient the same day.
Why? The anxiety and stress a patient can experience during an admission to hospital means patients rarely remember what has been told to them after any surgical procedure. Research has demonstrated that up to 80 percent of the medical information given is forgotten immediately.
What happened? The implementation of the project is extremely simple and requires little capital investment. A standard tablet is all that is required for the most basic delivery. After each surgical procedure the surgeon will record a personalised video for the patient on the tablet. Within Harrogate, the Patient Engagement Portal (PEP) Patient Knows Best (PKB) is utilised to record and deliver the video message securely. The patient then receives the video message on the day of surgery after their discharge. Attached to the personalised message are several short videos answering common questions, for example around when a patient can return to driving or whether they can get their wound wet. This initiative has allowed the removal of unnecessary follow up outpatient appointments from the post operative pathway. With the legacy model of post-surgery communication 75 percent of patients felt that they required a further appointment, often to clarify information they had forgotten or misunderstood. With the video message, only 15 percent of patients who received a personalised message with accompanying FAQs felt they needed a post-operative clinic appointment after arthroscopic surgery of the knee. This initiative has now expanded to include patients undergoing hand surgery, gynaecology, and shoulder surgery at Harrogate.
Looking ahead. The solution will continue to be expanded across multiple specialties within Harrogate, and learnings will be shared with other regions.
Capri Healthcare Ltd
Overview: TriVice, an AI-powered solution, revolutionises healthcare referrals with intelligent triaging and advice management. Interoperable with existing systems, it minimises avoidable referrals, reducing dependence on specialist clinicians while streamlining routine pathways and administrative tasks.
Why? Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BWC) faced a critical issue with its plastic surgery team spending a significant amount of time on phone-based Advise & Guidance for referrals from other regional hospitals. This not only strained the clinicians but also prompted regulatory concerns from the General Medical Council (GMC).
What happened? The collaboration resulted in TriVice, a digital pathway designed to facilitate swift and secure communication between referring clinicians and the BWC plastic surgery team. The system allowed for the submission of patient details, images, and other data securely. Success criteria were established, including time and resource savings, reduced waiting times, and improved documentation, and strategic steps were taken to ensure success, including an objective-oriented pilot rollout and continuous improvement based on user feedback. Referrers report a substantial reduction in time taken to refer cases, and the plastics team benefits from quick, on-the-go case reviews through the mobile app. The digital pathway has eliminated the need for extensive phone-based advice and guidance, reducing the burden on clinicians. A medico-legal review ensured compliance, and the system’s integration with internal records and image storage systems has enhanced data flow. The new pathway has resulted in “remarkable” time savings, reducing speciality referral and response times from an average of 70 minutes to just 10 minutes. This translates to 760.67 hours of clinical time saved in 18 months. More than 30 percent of referrals are now handled locally, alleviating pressure on staff.
Looking ahead. Capri Healthcare Ltd hope that this solution sets a benchmark for efficiency, collaboration and patient-centric innovation.
Overview: Sanius Health ran a pilot study earlier this year, developing a machine learning algorithm that predicts when people living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) will have a Vaso-Occlusive Crisis (VOC).
Why? VOCs are responsible for 95 percent of SCD hospitalisations, and can lead to severe end-organ damage in the long term. Finding new ways of detecting them early is vital in the mission to support preventative interventions and improve patients’ quality of life.
What happened? Sanius developed a groundbreaking machine learning algorithm that is capable of predicting the potential onset of a VOC for those living with SCD. The algorithm has been developed by Orlando Agrippa, Dr Kim Summers, Dr Sanne Lugthart, Dr Kofie Anie, MBE and Professor Paul Telfer. We undertook a pioneering pilot involving patients living with SCD. The algorithm was built using data derived from three streams. Participants in the pilot used a digital patient wallet to report a range of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs). These included EQ-5D-5L scores and pain, mood and fatigue scores. Other data was derived from biometric information collected from a Withings ScanWatch, including sleep quality, physical activity and heart rate data. Finally, participants in the study consented to submitting their personal health records, which were factored into the construction of the algorithm. The results of the pilot provided rich new sources of information on the likelihood of patients experiencing a VOC. Over the course of the pilot 69 VOCs were reported, of which 84 percent were correctly predicted by the groundbreaking algorithm.
Looking ahead. The technology has completed its pilot stage but still requires regulatory approval and scaling – meaning that currently, it truly sits at the forefront of innovation and discovery.
The Northern Care Alliance and Open Medical
Overview: The Northern Care Alliance (NCA) collaborated with Open Medical to streamline their skin cancer teledermatology pathway using PathpointⓇ eDerma. This partnership improved efficiency, reduced diagnosis time, increased accessibility, addressed health inequalities, and proved cost-effective.
Why? The NCA skin cancer pathway is overwhelmed with increasing demand and is the most challenged clinical pathway in Greater Manchester, with backlogs peaking at over 500 patients waiting over 62 days. Urgent transformative solutions were required to rapidly mobilise a new out-of-hospital diagnostic pathway.
What happened? The NCA and Open Medical partnered to redesign and optimise their service delivery with eDerma, facilitated by Greater Manchester Cancer Investment through national SBRI technology funding. This led to the development of a project targeted at increasing community-based diagnostics, diagnostic efficiency, and service accessibility by leveraging Open Medical’s cloud-based platform, PathpointⓇ eDerma. This model made use of remote teledermatology, where a specialist examined patients’ skin lesions following image capture in a community setting. Before eDerma’s implementation, the NCA was struggling to meet the Two-Week-Wait (2WW) target; less than one percent of patients were seen within 14 days of referral, an issue largely due to the resource-intensive nature of traditional F2F consultations. However, just three months after the launch of the optimised pathway via eDerma, dermatologists were able to evaluate 99 percent of referrals within 14 days. Patients received their diagnoses an average of 6.4 days faster, and 50 percent of patients received their diagnosis 14 days sooner. 79 percent of patients assessed via eDerma received a clinical diagnosis or treatment plan within 28 days, compared to 16 percent before its implementation. Even after accounting for the cost of implementing eDerma, each consultation is £32 cheaper than traditional F2F consultations, with an independent evaluation estimating it could save over £18,261 in just six months compared to the previous pathway.
Looking ahead. It is hoped that this pathway will set a new standard for healthcare initiatives.
Urgent Health UK (UHUK)
Overview: UHUK, faced with increased demands on urgent health services, created one-of-a-kind Innovation Programme with the University of Warwick. Focused on optimising workforce efficiency, they worked in collaboration to develop 6 solutions, one of which demonstrates potential to improve call productivity by 25 percent.
Why?In response to a 30 percent increase in patients using NHS 111 services over the last 12 months without a corresponding increase in funding, UHUK and its members embarked on a “first of its kind” innovation programme.
What happened? The programme brought together nine UHUK members, collectively covering approximately 40 percent of the UK patient population and handling millions of patient calls every year. The team notes that the market response was “incredible”, and 74 potential solutions were identified, from which four innovators were selected: Medwise AI, Isla, Inicio, and Ummanu. Once the innovators were selected, the programme moved into a phase of guided product development workshops facilitated by the WMHWIN over a period of 10 weeks. Two of the collaborative solutions that emerged from the UHUK Innovation Programme were the Ummanu/Inicio/Medwise AI Solution, a comprehensive end-to-end service leveraging AI to reduce clinician workload, screen time and enhance the in-person patient experience. This solution has anticipated benefits including nine to 14 minutes of time saving per consultation, improved transcription efficiency, and streamlined referral processes resulting in a 25 percent increase in call productivity. The second solution was developed by Isla and Medwise using AI, enabling clinicians to quickly find and send guidance to patients through various delivery methods of the patient’s choice, including legacy systems such as SMS, ensuring inclusivity.
Looking ahead. As the UHUK Innovation Programme concludes its first phase, a second programme, commenced in December 2023, is already in motion. New challenges and innovators will further contribute to the evolution of digital healthcare solutions.
Voice-Care International Ltd
Overview: Voice-Care uses voice-enabled technology to prioritise and direct clinical care and patient observations. Allowing users to work hands and eyes free, Voice-Care uses bi-directional speech commands and a custom-built scheduling system, simplifying the recording of patient observations directly from the bedside in real time.
Why? To optimise processes and streamline productivity, whilst ensuring patient safety and giving healthcare professionals the tools they need to nurture and enhance the patient relationship.
What happened? Voice-Care supports a variety of mission-critical healthcare processes including: the assessment and documentation of vital recordings such as blood pressure and temperature; the real-time recording of anecdotal observations and patient dialogue directly to the EPR and other platforms; the logging of treatments and medicines administered in real time, with each interaction assigned to a particular caregiver; timely and accurate administration of patient check-in and check-out procedures; recording of notes and observations via free speech through the headset; and the ability to collect photographs or barcode scans to record details of procedures for ongoing documentation. Voice-Care supports integration into leading healthcare systems and can be configured and customised to suit the demands of other applications wherever there needs to be compliant inspections or a patient/carer scenario. It is said to enable 100 percent compliance with standardised processes and procedures, giving medical staff confidence amid difficult situations that their step-by-step, time-stamped observations provide them with true accountability, transparency and protection. Information taken from the bedside and spoken into the headset is instantly uploaded to the ePR or NEWS2 Platform, helping caregivers and all members of a patient care team to have instant patient updates, making shift changeovers faster, simpler and more accurate.
Looking ahead. As well as theatre-based applications, Voice-Care is also discussing trials for its pre-and post-procedure patient observation solution.
Overview: The Digital Journey Planner (DJP) is an online assessment tool developed in partnership with NHS England for primary care to assess their digital progress, improve access and enhance patient experience and satisfaction.
Why? The DJP makes planning improvements easy by generating an action plan based on practice answers, giving practices clear and attainable areas for improvement, and highlighting the tools and resources available to support with implementation.
What happened? The DJP is an online assessment tool developed in partnership with NHS England for primary care to assess their digital progress. 1,600 practices have an account on the Digital Journey Planner, creating 425 action plans, with a total of 13,070 actions identified, 2,000+ of those actions have already been completed. Redmoor Health was commissioned by the North Central London ICB to provide digital maturity support to the region. As a result, 119 practices have utilised the enhanced support package alongside the DJP. A recently added feature of the DJP is the functionality to export action plans for submission in QOF returns, for the Quality Improvement domain. Last year the DJP was able to support practices in claiming up to 37 QOF points, which would generate an average income claim of £7,679 per practice. In response to QOF changes this year, the DJP has been adapted to include a new mini module (Workforce and Wellbeing), to claim up to 37 QOF points, which would generate an average income claim of £7,897 per practice. Based on monitored ICB-level programmes featuring the use of the Digital Journey Planner, Redmoor Health estimates that collectively the DJP has enabled circa. 650,000 patients to use online appointment booking, circa 584,000 patients to order prescriptions online, enabled circa 1,400,000 patients for detailed record access, and increased access to GP online services for circa 600,000 patients.
Looking ahead. Redmoor Health hopes to continue utilising the DJP to drive improvements and enhance patient experience in primary care.
Overview: Recharge Capital is a leading $6 billion thematic-first private investment firm. With a strong emphasis on women’s healthcare and fertility, the firm leverages its expertise and strategic partnerships to invest, scale, and optimise transformative businesses.
Why? By 2045, more couples than ever are expected to rely on IVF for fertility. Despite this, countries around the world continue to crack down on reproductive access, turning medical tourism into a human rights issue – and Recharge is at the forefront of ensuring the right to fertility services for women and LGBTQ+ people globally.
What happened? As part of its focus on investing in women’s healthcare, in 2023 Recharge Capital developed and incubated Rhea, a technology-first fertility care company focused on addressing fertility challenges in key emerging markets. The raised funds are being strategically deployed to invest, roll up, and create an end-to-end ecosystem through Rhea within the women’s fertility value chain across Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Recharge Capital aims to transform the sector by creating “full-scale integration of disruptive technologies”, diagnostic solutions, and seamless patient experiences through digital platforms and local clinic chains. Utilising a thematic-first investment framework allows Recharge to identify category winners who are “immune to the macroeconomic swings that impact traditional investment”, and in order to increase access to reproductive services, Recharge backs companies in regions around the world including Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. In particular, Recharge places strong focus on the APAC region, noting that there are nearly 1.5 million annual IVF cycles in Asia alone, with China exporting ~500K cycles to other countries. There is “tremendous demand for medical tourism related to family planning and women’s health”, Recharge says, and the organisation is “funding a network of clinics to satisfy this demand with cost effective and cutting edge services.” In October 18, Recharge announced a $3 million incubation investment into Generation Prime to create the first full-stack, closed- loop IVF and related health services provider with IVF clinic roll-ups serving Southeast Asia.
Looking ahead. Recharge hopes to continue to help transform women’s health and fertility across the globe.