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You’re hired! Oldham CCG announces Dragons’ Den technology short list
Over the summer of 2015, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (Oldham CCG) has collaborated with TRUSTECH to deliver a programme to identify innovative healthcare technologies that could have a significant impact on the health and care of patients in the Oldham area. Today, the companies behind the short listed technologies have been announced.
The Dragons’ Den for Innovative Healthcare Technologies was launched in March, with the aim of finding novel technologies which could help the CCG deliver outstanding services to patients, in line with its triple aim objective of improving standards of care, increasing value for money and ultimately delivering the best health outcomes for every patient in Oldham. Oldham CCG enlisted the help of the NHS innovation experts, TRUSTECH, to design, develop and deliver the programmes’ call and assessment process, which included: a marketplace event for the companies to showcase their products and services to Oldham CCG staff; and a second phase where they were required to pitch to a panel of NHS experts and patient representatives.
From more than 80 applications to the call, 6 technologies have been selected to be evaluated in a clinical setting within the Oldham area. These products and services were deemed to potentially offer the most significant impact on patient care and also align most closely with the needs of patients and the local population. The evaluations are due to commence before the end of the year.
Below is a short synopsis of each of the technologies:
d-Nav Insulin Guidance Service – Hygieia Medical Ltd.
The d-Nav Insulin Guidance Service provides people with diabetes a more effective way of managing their insulin. d-Nav allows patients to measure their blood glucose levels and provides a personalised dosage to help them reach optimal sugar control (HbA1c or average plasma glucose concentration). The d-Nav service data about patient interaction with the d-Nav Care Centre Specialist Nurses, glucose levels, and insulin dosages is available in a cloud-based portal, which clinicians can access remotely to monitor progress. d-Nav offers the potential to reduce medication waste and better equip diabetic patients to reach their treatment goals.
Fall-Safe Assist – Hip Impact Protection Ltd.
Fall-Safe Assist hip protectors utilise high-tech materials which are thin, soft and pliable to touch, yet firm-up to dissipate force upon impact, helping to reduce fractures due to a fall. Additionally, Fall-Safe Assist has a sensor embedded within the protector which can detect a fall. The sensor can relay the signal to an Android smartphone to record the time and date of a fall, the location, direction, force and number of steps taken prior to falling, all of which will allow subsequent analysis of the causes leading to the fall to help prevent future incidents. The technology also enables automated alarms to be sent to notify carers and family members, which could dramatically improve response times.
Patient Monitor – Message Dynamics Ltd.
Patient Monitor is a service that utilises a patient’s existing landline or mobile to collect data about their symptoms and physiology. The service automatically calls patients at pre-determined intervals (usually twice per week) and uses responses to pre-set questions to alert a clinician if the health of the patient has deteriorated beyond a given threshold, allowing timely interventions to be made. Patient Monitor is currently used to support patients with COPD, asthma and heart failure and has the potential to reduce unplanned hospital admissions, whilst pro-actively improving the care and health of patients and reducing provider expenditure.
Noctura 400 Sleep Mask – PolyPhotonix Medical
PolyPhotonix’s sleep mask helps to reduce the risk of retinal disease in diabetic patients. Worn at night, the Noctura 400 Sleep Mask delivers non-invasive light therapy to reduce retinal hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, which is a major cause of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema, principal causes of blindness in the western world. The treatment, which is administered at home, represents a dramatic departure from the high cost and highly invasive late stage hospital treatments that are currently available.
Personal Care Record – Personal Care Record Company
The Personal Care Record empowers patients to take greater control over (i) their treatment and (ii) monitoring of their conditions. Intended to be interfaced with GP, hospital, community and social care systems, the Personal Care Record utilises a patient’s PC and/or a mobile device app to provide their comprehensive multilingual record, personal care pathways and automated, interactive alerts, reminders and follow-up. It is designed initially for patients with long term conditions.
Proteus Discover – Proteus Digital Health UK Ltd.
This technology combines an ingestible sensor with a wearable patch to measure medication adherence and physiological response to therapy. The ingestible sensor is the size of a poppy seed and is embedded within the medicine. When swallowed, it travels to the stomach where it releases a brief electrical signal when it combines with gastric fluid. The patch is worn on the torso and automatically logs and stores the dates and times of digestion, as well as physiological data. This data is transmitted to a mobile device and secure services used by clinicians. Benefits of this technology could include a reduction of medication waste/costs as well as improvements in patient health due to achieving their treatment goals easier and with patients being more engaged in their care.
Oldham’s commitment to innovation
As the next stage of the Dragons’ Den process moves forward, Denis Gizzi, Managing Director of NHS Oldham CCG said: “After rigorous assessment of the programmes pitched to us this summer, we are confident that the six technology projects we have shortlisted will potentially offer patients in Oldham new solutions to some of the challenging health problems that they encounter on a day to day basis.
“Our commitment to innovation and driving real improvement for our patients continues to come alive through pieces of work like this, and follows on from the stage one Dragons’ Den pilots, where we were able to embed some of the pioneering ideas brought to us in the mental health, obesity, diabetes and urgent care healthcare fields. We’re very excited to be working with our partners across the health technology sector and look forward to evaluating these pilots when they have concluded, in a bid to mainstream the ones which deliver the best health improvement outcomes.”
Recognition for forward-thinking activities
On a final note, Oldham CCG has been shortlisted for the CCG of the Year Award at this year’s prestigious Health Services Journal (HSJ) Awards.
The HSJ Awards is the largest celebration of excellence in UK healthcare, highlighting the most innovative and successful people and projects in the sector. The awards were created in 1981 to recognise, on a national platform, the projects and initiatives that deliver healthcare excellence and innovation. By shining a spotlight on cutting-edge innovations and best practice, the awards give impetus to improving the quality of health care in the UK.
The CCG’s partnership with organisations such as TRUSTECH provides a clear sign that breaking down the barriers to adopting innovation to enable more efficient and effective patient care is at the forefront of the organisation’s agenda. The winners will be announced on 18th November 2015.
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