This month’s industry round-up features news an NHS Digital director has been nominated for a British ex-Forces in Business Award and healthcare professional app Siilo raised £8.6million in Series A funding.

NHS Digital director nominated for British ex-Forces in Business Award

Ian Phoenix, NHS Digital’s director of citizen health technology, has been nominated for a British Ex-Forces In Business Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards celebrate former servicemen and women who have succeeded in the business world after leaving the military.

Ian joined the Royal Navy in 1990 as an apprentice specialising in technical engineering and languages and spent seven years working all over the world, including a stint on the frontline during the Gulf War.

After leaving the Navy, Ian spent a year travelling South America before joining American Express as head of communications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He then moved on to jobs with Citibank and Visa before securing a working for the Government in security and intelligence, where he stayed for 11 years.

Before joining NHS Digital in 2018, Ian worked for the Home Office as their delivery directory for immigration technology, overseeing then the world’s largest migration to Amazon Web Services as well as transformation of immigration platforms at the height of Brexit.

Ian said: “It is a huge honour to be nominated for this award alongside a hugely talented group of people. It shows that a career in the forces can give you the skills that you need to unlock your potential.

“One of my former bosses had started out in a very similar role to me and helped show me that I could go higher than I thought was possible in business thanks to the skills I learnt in the Navy.”

Healthcare professional app Siilo raises £8.6m in Series A funding

Siilo, the secure collaboration app for healthcare professionals, has raised a £8.6 million in Series A funding.

The company will use the funding to expand its product offering to better support case-based collaboration and knowledge-sharing on its platform, as well as increase network growth across Europe, specifically across the UK and Ireland.

The company will also be hiring staff in product development and customer success. The app offers a modern solution to outdated technology such as faxes and pagers.

Joost Bruggeman, co-founder and chief executive at Siilo said: “We believe there is a massive opportunity for healthcare to operate as a collaborative network. We started by connecting professionals treating individual patients, but during the acute phase of the pandemic, we’ve also been able to play a critical role in connecting different levels of healthcare to facilitate faster decision-making and information-sharing.

“We’re only just starting to uncover the different ways technology can facilitate collaboration and simplify workflows in healthcare, and we’re excited to increase our product offering and member network with the support of our newest investors, who bring a wealth of insights and experience around scaling innovative healthcare solutions.”

Dr. Christian Weiss, general partner at Heal Capital, one of the main investors, said: ““Communication is key in every organisation. Siilo has a strong vision in making healthcare professionals fall in love with their intuitive solution to promote it in a bottom-up approach.”

InterSystems TrakCare helps healthcare providers during Covid-19

InterSystems has continued implementing and enhancing its TrakCare unified healthcare information system to help its customers in the fight against the global pandemic.

Responding quickly to customer needs the company has brought new systems, equipment – and even hospitals – online.

In February, as the crisis unfolded, InterSystems released global TrakCare functionality within the electronic medical record to help clinicians screen patients for Covid-19.

The functionality leveraged World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and a link to the novel coronavirus global cases tracking app provided by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Systems Science and Engineering in the United States.

During the height of the outbreak in China, InterSystems staff went on-site to Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Beijing to bring it urgently live.

In just seven days, the company configured the electronic medical records for an 80-bed hospital fully dedicated to Covid-19 patients in Rome, and then in just 24 hours configured an additional site, a hotel converted to a post-acute care facility.

TrakCare is now used in 27 countries in more than 450 hospitals.

“The hallmark of InterSystems, the products we create, and the support we provide around the clock is responsiveness,” said head of healthcare solutions Don Woodlock.

“We are proud to have deployed TrakCare quickly to respond to the needs of front-line medical professionals, and ultimately help deliver patients the care they needed.”

Locum’s Nest partners with Earnd for first on-demand pay service for NHS

Locum’s Nest and Earnd have partnered to allow temporary NHS staff to access their money without charges, as they earn it, on-demand.

Under existing processes, healthcare professionals who wish to be paid outside of normal pay-runs must pay for the privilege. In an industry-first, the partnership between Locum’s Nest and Earnd will allow this service to be offered free to the NHS and its workers.

Dr Ahmed Shahrabani, co-founder, said: “We have chosen to work with Earnd because their proposition to our public service, like ours, is ethical, with no catch – their pledge to support the NHS with on-demand pay is free and it will be so forever.

“Workers who do additional shifts should not have to wait weeks and weeks and weeks to be paid, this system allows them to be paid much more quickly, and it won’t cost to do so. It’s a win-win.”

Josh Vernon, Earnd chief executive, added: “Now more than ever we need to stand together to support our NHS. On-demand pay makes booking additional shifts more attractive to both trusts and doctors, thus reducing the need to use expensive agencies.

“By offering Earnd for free to the NHS we make it easier than ever for trusts to reduce their agency costs, whilst also supporting their staff’s financial wellbeing.”

Digital mental health company predicts four-fold increase in patients

A mental health crisis on an ‘unprecedented’ scale will lead to a surge in referrals to the NHS’ talking therapy service, according to IESO Digital Health.

Such a leap in demand will leave the country’s 54 NHS mental health trusts crippled with demand and unable to cope with patients left to tackle anxiety and depression alone.

Analysis from IESO Digital Health predicts a four-fold increase in the number of patients referred for IAPTs treatment in October.

Based on the predictions for IAPTs referrals pre-COVID-19, combined with the expected surge in referrals for those who have put off or been unable to seek help during the lockdown, nearly 643,000 patients are likely to be referred to the IAPTs talking therapy service by October compared to the expected 156,000 under non-COVID circumstances.

Sarah Bateup, IESO Digital Health chief clinical officer, said: “No one should have to wait weeks let alone months or even years for their mental health treatment – not getting the right support can be life-threatening.

“We need innovative solutions, including the use of technology, to see and treat patients as quickly and safely as possible and get them back on the road to recovery.”

Ross O’Brien, digital innovation director at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Patient referral rates have been alarmingly low since lockdown across IAPT services in England – in London alone we have seen up to a 50% reduction in referrals in March and April.

“There is a wealth of digital technology that is enabling therapy to continue without people needing to leave their homes. Now is this the time to harness this to a much greater degree.”