HTN Now Awards 2023: health tech case study of the year

Next we have our finalists for health tech case study of the year.

Focus Group 

Overview: West Quay surgery found that as part of their COVID recovery plan it is possible to reach the holy grail of a project that puts patient happiness & access first, while also improving efficiency, saving money, and future proofing processes.  

Why? The ‘THINK HEALTHCARE’ platform is a cloud based telephony system designed by NHS specialists and ex-practice managers. Every project & platform is custom built to suit specific patient & practice demands. In West Quay, they were looking to address not just short term challenges, but also look to the future and make sure that any change made was supporting further improvements on an ongoing basis. 

What happened? One of the first introductions was the Queue Buster functionality. Rather than sitting holding a phone waiting to get through, patients were instead offered the ability to press a single button, put the phone down and carry on with other tasks. The Think Healthcare platform calls them back automatically when they reach the front of the queue. As part of the consultation process they ensured that the cluster of practices in the area were able to work together on the new platform, with a roadmap for others to join.  

Looking ahead: Future developments may also include having those who find modern telephone menu systems challenging routed straight to a receptionist, avoiding any confusion with a menu where they may struggle to get through. This will improve inequality of access for the elderly, those with learning disabilities & cognitive impairment disorders. 


Overview: The introduction of the ClearScreen digital reader, TestCard, in partnership with Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust were able to build a consistent process supporting improved patient flow and operational cost efficiencies. It immediately records patients’ test results digitally and transmitting to the electronic patient record. 

Why? LFD testing is now a core component of any patient pathway at GSTT requiring an admission, a significant procedure or an intervention involving the airway. In order to roll out more widely in GSTT, quality is essential and it was vital to ensure that LFD testing is consistent and high standard; can easily support meeting any clinical requirements for reporting; and is able to provide sufficient real time data. 

What happened: The digital reader used imaging processing capability of phones to scan the LFD cartridge and automatically report patient ID, cartridge ID/batch and provide consistency in result interpretation. GSTT were able to redeploy senior input to other clinical needs while still achieving accuracy of results, consistent and efficient processes and comprehensive, high quality data capture. It has also removed costs of extra admin support to register visitors on patient activity systems. Once they had established that the Digital Reader testing and reporting was robust, they were able to use LFD testing to replace PCR testing in certain pathways. 

Looking ahead: Work is in progress to look further into pathways that are suitable, and which require relatively little effort to convert. They have also begun to look at other tests that can be improved or replaced with digital reading such as A&E pregnancy testing. 


Overview: An AI-backed prioritisation system for the elective waiting list is delivering NHS improvements in saving 125 bed-days per 1000 patients and reducing emergency emissions by 8 percent. The C2-Ai system risk stratifies the elective surgical waiting list based on clinical risk and urgency, as well as incorporating the impact of Social Determinants of Health and length of time on the waiting list. 

Why? The overall objective is to ensure the patient has been seen in the right place at the right time, with the right team which leads to the right outcome. The C2-Ai system saves time per patient prioritisation and assigns a more-detailed patient score from 0 to 100 to help fast and accurate prioritisation.  

What happened: The manual process of categorising patients is time consuming, with up to 15% of patients in the wrong category. The system, according to NHS reporting, provides a number of benefits such as 5 minutes per triage per patient; 5 percent increase in capacity; reprioritisation of patients for early treatment with less resource and better outcomes and more. C2-AI has combined and automated existing AI-backed systems that have been in use by the NHS, which has built on 30 years of research and the biggest referential patient dataset.  

Looking ahead: Across a 10 million waiting list that is triaged monthly, the time and cost savings could equal to a reduction in ambulance trips and treatment costs. In response to the current call to action and the NHSE/I ‘Adopt and Adapt’ strategy, the Cheshire and Merseyside model has been deployed at multiple NHS Trusts/ICSs across four regions in England.  


Overview: X-on’s product Surgery Connect supports practices with their on-site communications, and as a scalable solution for expanding practices. Willows Medical Centre deployed the Surgery Connect model at practice level and then later across the entire PCN, addressing their patient communication issues. 

Why? Willows Medical Centre services around 6,000 patients. Kieran Mann, CIO at Willows Health said they were struggling with an “on premises solution, which had been in place for about four years. We were struggling to get lines in and out, especially during peak hours. We were on an ISDN system, with a server on site and were looking for providers to help with the transition to cloud.” 

What happened? In addition to the on-desk handsets, Surgery Connect includes a softphone. Willows Health use SystmOne which integrates seamlessly with Surgery Connect, allowing staff and GPs to access patient data and be able to record calls to the patient record easily while on a call, and from their location. Surgery Connect has been built from the ground up utilising X-on Contact Centre technology and can be configured to provide a call centre facility for GP Federations and PCNs. 

Looking ahead: CIO Kieran Mann said that the biggest element for Willows Health is merging all the sites into one unit. He said: “What that means for us is that we have a global address list, or a global number list, of everyone in our practices. That is super-efficient. You can go to a list, find your colleague and call them directly.” 


Overview: HN’s AI-guided clinical coaching intervention prevents 34% of A&E patient attendances and aims to reduces health inequalities. Using AI technology to identify patients at high risk of a clinical crisis and hospital care. 

Why? Stafford & Surrounds CCG started working with HN as part of a randomised control trial. The aim was to look at how existing patient data could be used to predict those most likely to attend A&E using AI. Some of the benefits include a 35 percent reduction in A&E attendances on average; 34 percent reduction in non-elective spells on average and a 30% reduction per patient in the average total hospital care cost. 

What happened? In Staffordshire, the AI-powered predictive analytics was able to identify and prioritise people with worsening health conditions in real-time by analysing their patient records. The algorithm targeted individuals who were likely to consume three or more acute hospital bed days in the next six months or require an increase in GP-led care. In primary care, HN’s analysis revealed that the 5% highest consumers of GP appointments were transient, meaning those who had most contact with primary care were not the same users the following year. 

Looking ahead: Staffordshire ICS and HN are now working together on their Frailty and Health Ageing programme and to see how data prediction methods might work for patients at risk of falls, or those who need an MDT review. It will also be considered for those who are at a higher risk of delayed discharge from hospital should they be admitted.  


Overview: T-Pro is being selected by NHS organisations to support digital transformation initiatives. T-Pro’s technology aims to help clinicians document patient care, communicate better and reduce the significant burden of documentation. 

Why? T-Pro helps provide flexible cloud-based digital solutions that hand back time to care. Technology like speech recognition, natural language understanding, and workflow automation tools are deployed as part of a flexible platform, which is tailored for the individual user. 

What happened? With the help of speech recognition solutions, clinicians can automate and streamline their tasks and workflows, becoming more efficient and productive. Providing clinicians with the right tools improves their efficiency and well-being, and also allows them to have better patient interactions. The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has chosen T-Pro to support its digital transformation goals and to improve the speed, accuracy and quality of documentation. T-Pro’s digital dictation workflow platform handles all the stages of the documentation process, from creation to distribution. In October 2022, more than 385,000 NHS documents were produced on the platform. 

Looking ahead: As part of the Practice Plus Group’s EPR rollout strategy, T-Pro’s speech recognition software will support the capture of more detailed, accurate notes and documentation in real time. The aim is to reduce the burden of extensive administrative and documentation requirements for clinicians, health professionals and healthcare organisations. By developing innovative software solutions, T-Pro automates these traditionally manual tasks, allowing healthcare workers to focus on patient care. 

Surgery Hero 

Overview: Surgery Hero helps deliver remote pre-habilitation for patients awaiting surgery. It is an app-based, multi-behavioural intervention that works on a mobile phone. It’s tailored for patients approaching and recovering from elective surgery. 

Why? The app provides personalised, educational material through a structured programme. Digital guidance on preoperative lifestyle changes is combined with one-to-one health coaching to deliver remote prehabilitation support through a patient’s smartphone. It’s a progressive and adaptive programme designed to support patients for up to 8 weeks before surgery and during their initial rehabilitation. 

What happened? To evaluate the impact of the app and digital health coaching, the Surgery Hero and South Tees teams launched a pilot programme for patients waiting for hip and knee surgery, with patients identified from orthopaedic waiting lists. Following initial contact, patients were asked for consent and were risk assessed to ensure remote health coaching was a safe and suitable option. Their details were forwarded to the Surgery Hero team to commence their digital health coaching programme. 

Looking ahead:  Overall, the use of the Surgery Hero app and health coaching program supported a reduction in the length of stay and post-operative complications for hip and knee patients, whilst increasing patient health activation (PAM) scores by 12 points. The Net Promoter Score of 86 indicated a very high level of patient satisfaction and there was a significant shift from low to high levels of patient activation.