Solutions and Support for Healthcare Providers

Digital and tech solutions for NHS organisations

All 15 AHSNs across the country have worked together to compile a database of proven digital and technology solutions that can support health and social care organisations with their response to COVID-19. On this page, we are highlighting some of the innovators who we have been working with in our region, who have tried and tested solutions available and are already working with healthcare providers across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Brain in Hand is a professional digital support system that helps users to cope better with anxiety, to solve problems for themselves, and to more easily get help when they need it. A blend of digital tools and human support, the system allows organisations to reach more people and service users to access the right help for them at the right time.

During the COVID-19 crisis, which for many has increased the risk of mental health difficulties, Brain in Hand is continuing to deliver practical mental health support in a digital, remote, and personalised way. Users are receiving virtual sessions to help them think about their strengths and needs, developing strategies to help them overcome problems independently.

Brain in Hand includes:

  • Personal planning sessions with a specialist
  • An account for secure web and mobile software including self-management tools
  • A connection to extra human support when it’s needed.

For organisations who need an effective way to reach people during this time of disconnection and isolation, Brain in Hand’s fully-managed remote support solution extends the reach of health and care teams without adding to an already stretched workload and can be deployed within two weeks.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has assisted Brain in Hand with raising awareness across the region, providing the company with a platform at events connecting innovative solutions with mental health commissioners and practitioners.

The Doc Abode product was devised by Bradford-based GP and entrepreneur Dr Taz Aldawoud. It was created to improve workforce capacity in order to cut the time patients were waiting for out-of-hours home visits. Long waiting times can often lead to rapid patient deterioration and unnecessary acute admissions.

Doc Abode’s platform is proven to improve performance by up to 20% with healthcare providers having access to additional clinicians alongside existing workforce rotas when need increased. The platform matches NHS patient requirements to the most relevant available clinicians based on attributes such as specialisms and language, promoting more personalised delivery of care.

With the demands of the current COVID-19 crisis, the platform operates 24/7 to support home visiting and clinicians can see which home visits are COVID-19 related, and where they can access essential Personal Protective Equipment. Remote consultations can now be carried out via Doc Abode’s new development, secure recorded telephony and video functionality.

In 2016 Yorkshire & Humber AHSN supported the development of Doc Abode though our ‘Proof of Concept’ programme, which nurtured new ideas and technologies through regulatory compliance guidance and marketplace analysis.

We then supported further development with a successful application to the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare’s ‘GP of the Future’ project. This provided intensive support as part of the Office of Life Sciences-funded Innovation Exchange to help Doc Abode prepare to market itself.

In 2017, an independent academic evaluation measured outcomes achieved by Doc Abode: it was shown to improve National Quality Requirement performance by between 10% and 20%.

DrDoctor is a web-based service which makes managing hospital outpatient appointments and administration easier for both the patients and staff. Patients can make and change appointments online, on their smartphone, or by SMS, view letters and complete forms. Staff have a much simpler way to communicate remotely. In 2018 DrDoctor was used for eight million NHS appointments and rolled out successfully across 27 Trusts nationwide.

Having seen a massive rise in elective care waiting lists caused by COVID-19, DrDoctor has launched software which can be used to assess patients for COVID-19 symptoms prior to a face-to-face appointment; there’s also a backlog validation tool to assess waiting lists and stratify risk; and patient initiated follow-ups to allow individuals to assess the type of follow-up they require.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN supported a live trial and deployment of the DrDoctor in Doncaster, where it was implemented by the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust in August 2019 to reduce its ‘Did Not Attend’ rate, improve clinic utilisation, save money and improve patient experience.

The results so far are:

  • For specialities live with the DrDoctor Portal, ‘Did Not Attend’ rates were cut by 17% within four months of switching on
  • £215,000 saved in four months (calculated by DrDoctor, based on an average cost per appointment of £108)
  • Projected savings across first 12 months of £690,000 (had there been no impact from Coronavirus-19)
  • Return on investment of £4.05 to £1 spent

Healthy.io has created a unique test kit using a smartphone to help detect urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) levels in people with diabetes who are advised to complete the test annually as part of NICE recommended care processes.

Raised ACR levels can be an indication of early stage kidney disease, which is often asymptomatic in early stages, and can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Regular ACR tests can lead to earlier diagnosis of CKD, slowing the progression of the disease, but achieving this regularity is difficult. With Healthy.io’s solution, a test kit is sent to the patient’s home, and using their smartphone, patients can scan a urine dipstick and colour calibrated board to get results which are shared with their GP for analysis.

The remote test saves time for patients and primary care teams as patients no longer need to collect and return urine pots, or be frequently reminded to carry out the test. This has produced a 72% compliance rate among people with diabetes who had previously missed their tests.

These impressive results could demonstrate the impact of adopting this kit during COVID-19 and its potential to reduce backlog after the pandemic. In addition it is estimated to be likely, if used across the diabetic population, to potentially save the NHS more than £2m over five years.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and Healthy.io commissioned York Health Economics Consortium to develop an economic evaluation model comparing the cost effectiveness of Healthy.io’s albumin-to-creatinine ratio self-screening test against standard care for the detection of albuminuria in people with diabetes or hypertension. We are now helping the company to raise awareness of this innovation across our region and the UK.

‘Dip.io’, which uses the same technology as the ACR test kit, was added to the NHS Innovation Accelerator, which we also support, in 2017.

Patients Know Best (PKB) is the UK’s leading patient portal and the only real digital platform that allows both patients and healthcare professionals to access healthcare records anytime, anywhere.

The platform connects health and social care data about patients from multiple providers to create a single, unified copy of the information.

This allows patients to access things like their appointment letters, test results, care plans and tailored resources created by their healthcare teams to enable self-management, using tools like symptom tracking and remote consultation (messaging, video calls, questionnaires).

Patients can also upload data and vitals information in real-time manually, or automatically from integrated wearable devices. By sharing their record with nominated people involved in their care (including family members, carers, specialist care teams and community providers) facilitates monitoring away from hospital settings.

This platform is particularly useful at the minute since there are fewer face-to-face appointments taking place due to COVID-19. The digital communication tool enables data sharing with patients while offering services the ability to connect with their patients around this data. Providing a healthcare professional an overview of a patient’s health as recorded by the patient remotely, can be extremely useful in understanding any underlying conditions which a patient may have ahead of a virtual consultation, or to assess who needs to be seen in person.

Patients Know Best recently implemented their technology at Hull University Teaching Hospitals, with deployments currently being initiated in York Teaching Hospitals, Mid Yorkshire and Leeds NHS Trusts. Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is supporting the company with the wider uptake of their technology across the region.

 

Working with the National Institute of Health Research’s Leeds Medtech & In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative (NIHR MIC) Pinpoint has created a new test to assist cancer detection.

The Pinpoint Test uses machine learning to combine signals from multiple blood analyses and basic patient information into a single clinical decision support tool.

This allows clinicians to easily identify those patients who should be referred to specialists for cancer diagnosis, red flag particularly urgent cases and identify those who can be safely investigated for other possible causes of their symptoms.

The project is part of an ongoing collaboration between Pinpoint Data Science, the University of Leeds and the NHS.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has provided Pinpoint with a range of support including advice on their business case and NHS value proposition and help with a successful Innovate UK grant.

We have also supported conversations with the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine, Cancer Alliance leaders and CCG leaders in order to prepare an implementation trial of the Pinpoint Test across all urgent cancer referral pathways. We will continue to provide tailored support to Pinpoint to develop their ambitions around scale and adoption across Yorkshire and Humber and beyond.

These profiles are just a brief outline. If you work for a health and care organisation in Yorkshire or the Humber and would like to discuss any of these solutions further, or if you are looking for a solution to a challenge you are facing then we can support you by discussing appropriate solutions and broker conversations with these companies to accelerate the adoption process.

Please get in touch by emailing info@yhahsn.com for help and information.