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Digital Leadership Londons NHS

A new report by DigitalHealth.London features interviews with leading NHS clinicians and managers and reports on the adoption of digital technology across London’s NHS.

Digital technologies – from smartphone apps that help people successfully manage their diabetes, avoid “no shows” at hospitals, to tools that save time for nurses and paramedics – are beginning to transform London’s NHS services.

The report features interviews with leading NHS clinicians and senior managers and reports on the how the first tranche of digital innovations are being deployed across a range of leading NHS trusts including the London Ambulance Service.

For the first time, NHS providers in London revealed the extent to which smartphones, the Internet and Bluetooth are improving patient care and look set to save the capital’s NHS millions each year.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust expects to save £2.5 million each year by reducing missed appointments through an app called DrDoctor which gives patients much more say in selecting a date and time of their choice, resulting in “no show” rates falling by 40%.

Health chiefs are also using smartphones to tackle a looming health crisis with London boroughs tackling type-2 diabetes.

Programmes run by the North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups, covering eight boroughs, are successfully tackling diabetes through digital technology. OurPath links an app to a fitness wristband and 3G connected weighing scales to provide clients with realtime updates that help tackle type-2 diabetes, and in studies has achieved an average 5.3kg weight loss, while Oviva has seen more than 200 people complete the online programme with an impressive 90 per cent completion rate.

Dr Tom Willis, diabetes clinical lead for the Collaboration, said: “GPS are by nature very busy, naturally sceptical and want evidence.”

The London Ambulance Service, which was praised for its speedy and high quality care to the victims of the recent London Bridge terrorist attacks, is a key adopter having helped adapt the Perfect Ward audit tool specifically for its ambulance stations. The city-wide service has also developed Perfect Kit Prep and cuts out medicines paperwork for faster ambulance care, these are being implemented across over 70 ambulance stations in the capital.

In Chelsea and Westminster another tool links a stoma bag, used to collect faeces and urine for more than 13,000 people who undergo surgery each year nationally, through Bluetooth to users’ smartphones. A discrete device called ostom-i Alert Sensor, developed by a patient innovator, provides alerts when the bag is full so users have more control over their daily life and, importantly, greater dignity.

A new report ‘Digital Leadership in London’s NHS’ reveals that within eight months the 31 start-ups and digital companies backed by an organisation called DigitalHealth.London have achieved strong uptake within the capital.

These companies are mainly London based and have signed 36 new contracts in the past eight months, 50% of which they credit to the support of Digital Health.London’s ‘Accelerator’ programme and the Digital Navigators who have linked them into London’s NHS.

Other NHS organisations involved include Great Ormond Street, King’s College Hospital, Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals and the six South West London CCGs.

Juliet Bauer, Director of Digital Experience, NHS England, said: “I’m a passionate supporter of DigitalHealth.London. At a time when the NHS is under real pressure, the programme has fostered the collaboration and innovation needed in information and technology to help the system work more efficiently and provide patients with the intelligent, personalised, high quality care they deserve.”

Professor Keith McNeil, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Health & Social Care, NHS England said:
“Innovation is not just coming up with great ideas, but following up with implementation and spread.

It is incumbent on all of us in leadership positions across the NHS to make sure these ground-breaking and transformational ideas are rapidly embedded in our day to day working, improving patient outcomes and experience, and adding to the sustainability of the healthcare we will deliver into the 21st century.”

Download a copy of the report here

More info on the report:

The NHS institutions in London involved are:
London Ambulance Service
Great Ormond Street
King’s College Hospital
SWL CCGs
NWL CCGs
Guy’s and St Thomas’
Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals – both Fulham Road and West Middlesex sites

The products comprise:
11Health – A sensor device to track ostomy bag fluid volumes and alert patients when nearly full that improves control and quality of life
DrDoctor – Technology platform enabling effective communication between hospitals and patients. Empowers patients, maximises clinician time and improves efficiency.
iPlato – Works in partnership with clinicians in primary care to transform patient experience and access to health care through digital engagement with patients via their phones.
Medopad – Connects patient to doctor to undertake realtime monitoring at home
OurPath – Digital behavioural change programme aimed at preventing onset of Type 2 diabetes through education, healthcare tracking and health coaching.
Oviva – Clinically proven behavioural change programme combining face-to-face, daily coaching, and structured education to help those with Type 2 diabetes self-manage and improve efficiency in diabetic care
Perfect Ward – App-based tool eliminating administration involved in conducting and reporting ward inspections. Ensures consistent reporting, with real-time feedback. Perfect Kit Prep is an additional module of the product developed for London Ambulance Service.
Physitrack – High quality exercise films that physiotherapists can email patients so that they complete them correctly at home
Written Medicine – dual language medication labels

Recruitment for the second cohort of DH.L Accelerator companies closed recently and the 127 applications are being assessed. This second cohort will start in September.

DigitalHealth.London was established by London’s three Academic Health Science Networks – the Health Innovation Network, UCL Partners and Imperial College Health Partners, with MedCity and our respective AHSCs – King’s Health Partners, UCLPartners and Imperial College AHSC. It is a virtual digital institute for London and a unique collaboration, designed to make it easier for brilliant digital solutions to help more Londoners.

The programme is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects, which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.