This month’s industry nibs includes NHS Wales embarking on a new early payment programme for its suppliers, a new fingerprint drug test to be used by Staffordshire (South) Coroner Service to assist investigations and LumiraDX new product to assist in INR self-testing patients on anticoagulation.

NHS Wales embraces early payment innovation

NHS Wales, which provide care to three million patients and employs more than 72,000 staff, is working with early payment provider, Oxygen Finance, to improve its purchase to pay (P2P) solution, as part of a wider efficiency drive.

The programme will offer suppliers early settlement of their invoices in exchange for a discount directly proportional to how quickly the payment is made.

NHS Wales has an annual spend of more than £4b on goods and services and the Early Payment Programme is projected to deliver savings of circa £9 million over the contract period, alongside a myriad of further benefits down the supply chain, according to NHS Wales.

Russell Ward, head of accounts payable and eEnablement at NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, said: “We see this as a win-win scenario. The programme will not only open up a welcome new income stream, but crucially allows us to develop better relationships with suppliers and vastly improved efficiency across our procurement systems.”

Staffordshire (South) Coroner Service to use fingerprint drug test in assisting investigations

Following a successful trial, HM Senior Coroner for Staffordshire (South) has placed an order for a new fingerprint-based drug screening system from Intelligent Fingerprinting. The new technology will be used by the Coroner’s team to carry out a simple, non-invasive drug test on the deceased immediately upon arrival at the mortuary. The test results will help to prioritise costly and time-consuming post-mortem investigations.

Launched last month, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s new drug screening system detects recent drug use by analysing the sweat collected from the tip of a finger. Sweat deposits are still present even after death. Sample collection takes five seconds, and the system delivers simultaneous screening results for the four main drugs of abuse – cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines – in under ten minutes.

The Staffordshire (South) Coroner’s Office has been an active participant in trials of Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug screening system over the last 18 months, with trial results showing that fingertip-based testing can deliver effective screening, prioritising the requirement for further post mortem enquiries and full toxicology analyses.

New LumiraDx Adapter Cap enables anticoagulation self-testing patients to send their INR results directly to their clinicians

LumiraDx Care Solutions has announced a new product which helps current INR self-testing patients on anticoagulation (AC) therapy connect directly to their care teams. The LumiraDx Adapter Cap clips on to Roche’s Coagucheck XS and connects it to mobile phones and tablets by converting the infrared output to a Bluetooth signal. Patients can then send their INR result directly to their care team via the LumiraDx engage app.

The Adapter Cap helps eliminate transcription errors by sending INR results straight to the patient’s record in the clinician’s system via INRstar. “We believe the cap will allow the thousands of people with a CoaguChek XS to experience the simplicity and improved experience of Bluetooth connectivity via the engage app without the expense of upgrading to a new device”, Ben Townend, product manager, LumiraDx Care Solutions said.

Supported by the engage app, which also interfaces with the CoaguChek INRange, patients can self-test at home and send their INR results back to their clinic.

Civica software installed at care homes provider

A care home provider has deployed Civica’s Coldharbour system, which is designed to support financial and care management.

Oakland Primecare, which provides retirement living via two homes in the east and south east of the country, has recently deployed the software. A Civica spokesman said the new system will help the firm reduce administration time in manual planning and recording rotas. It is also intended to streamline enquiry and billing processes to free up employees for other business-critical functions. The system is said to cover the entire care provision process from enquiry, referral management, care and staff planning, through to contracts, time-sheets, billing and pay.

It also provides management dashboards, which are intended to enable users to compare trends, analyse costs and revenues, interrogate statistics, view budgets and create accurate forecasts. The contract with Civica runs for three years. Steve Pereira, finance director at Oakland Primecare, said Coldharbour has enabled the firm to “standardise our business practices.” He suggested it would “provide a common platform for future growth and expansion”.

Depression diagnosis tool takes top prize in 48 hour healthcare hackathon

A 48-hour healthcare hackathon hosted by British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) in London attracted 70 surgeons, coders, designers and consultants who battled it out with, a company focused on diagnosing depression using simple vocal biomarkers.

The event, which was held at the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) London headquarters, had six teams who were formed and tasked with disrupting the status quo of some of the biggest challenges in healthcare delivery. were the eventual winners and walked away with the top prize of a £1000 BCG seed investment to help bring their idea to life.  They plan to work with research institutions and pharmaceutical companies to increase the accuracy and decrease the cost of developing new treatments.

Other ideas presented included Loop, which aims to gamify post-operative rehabiliation to improve clinical outcomes and lower hospital costs, as well as GetReady, an automated pre-operative assessment platform that aims to perform many routine pre-operative checks from the patient’s home.

Daisy Group granted compliance kite mark

Daisy Group has become the latest connectivity provider to be granted a compliance kite mark by the new Health & Social Care Network (HSCN).

The UK’s largest independent provider of business communications, IT and cloud services will now partner with NHS trusts, care commissioning groups, GP surgeries and a wide range of other health sector organisations to ensure 24/7 robust and secure network connectivity.

Daisy Group – which provides digital technology to hundreds of household-name businesses across the UK – is a major supplier of products and services to the healthcare sector. Its HSCN compliance enables it to operate in a newly-established competitive market for network connectivity, regulated by NHS Digital and subject to strict and common standards. It will help health and social care organisations integrate and transform through accessing and sharing information more reliably, flexibly and efficiently.

Once suppliers have demonstrated adherence to the HSCN standards, they are permitted to sell HSCN connectivity as an HSCN compliant supplier. Constant supplier compliance monitoring will be carried out to ensure the integrity of the HSCN environment is retained.

Convention on Data Ethics’ proposed by the Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation has agreed to set up a ‘Convention on Data Ethics’, working with the RSS, the Royal Society, British Academy and Turing Institute.

In a letter to the RSS, the Nuffield Foundation explained that the Convention would act as a forum connecting interested parties from science, academia, industry, public policy and other organisations.The RSS has responded to the Nuffield Foundation’s letter confirming that the Society is happy to be involved and looks forward to working with all partners in taking this agenda forward.

The RSS has long stated the need for government to establish a Council for Data Ethics in our Data Manifesto. Hetan Shah, RSS executive director, said: ‘The RSS has argued that the changing nature of data and its uses, including the rise of the internet of things, machine learning and algorithms, means that our existing ethical frameworks in this area are becoming stretched.”