The latest Digital Health News industry round-up features news of five innovative projects receiving funding from the Health Innovation Network South London to support roll-out, and a new AI tool that could help spot a precancerous condition.

£100k funding boost for south London’s health and care innovations

Health Innovation Network South London has announced the winners of its five innovation grant packages of £10,000 to £30,000.

The winners align to key NHS priorities by addressing major health challenges such as managing musculoskeletal pain, mental health and supporting people with long term conditions.

Many projects are working with local boroughs and a wide range of commercial partners. The funding will help the innovations be rolled out further.

The winners were:

  • Dr Joel Parker, consultant clinical psychologist, OXLEAS NHS Foundation Trust: Fun and Fitness is a community sports development programme to support adults with learning disabilities to increase physical exercise and improve physical and mental health outcomes.
  • Rishi Goel, consultant gastroenterologist and lead for IBD Services, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: For the first time in South West London, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients will be able to self-manage their care and communications with clinical teams via a digital patient portal. This project will trial the use of self-monitoring tools through ‘Zesty’ that is integrated with their electronic patient record.
  • Kate Bramham, consultant nephrologist and clinical senior lecturer, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Improving the health of individuals living with diabetes and other long-term conditions using digital urine screening tool Healthy IO for early identification of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
  • Professor Heather Jarman, consultant nurse in emergency care, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Ben Wanless, consultant MSK physiotherapist, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Transforming management of musculoskeletal acute back and leg pain in the emergency department through the digital self-management app ‘getUBetter’.
  • Nimalini Ajith, joint and bone health physiotherapist, public health, Royal Borough of Kingston and Nicky Wilson, consultant physiotherapist, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Delivering personalised exercise rehabilitation in Kingston and Southwark using artificial intelligence (AI) provided via a co-designed accessible app.

AI could spot precancerous condition

Artificial intelligence (AI) could help free up pathologist time and allow them to focus on diagnosing the most tricky cases of Barrett’s oesophagus, according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study.

Using deep learning AI, samples taken from clinical trials that use Cytosponge, a new diagnostic tool for Barrett’s oesophagus, were separated into 8 classes of varying priority for pathologist review.

The study found that triaging Cytosponge samples using AI could free up time for pathologists to concentrate on the more challenging samples, potentially reducing the diagnostic workload by 57%, while matching the diagnostic accuracy of pathologists.

Barrett’s oesophagus can cause cells in the oesophagus to grow abnormally, increasing the risk of oesophageal cancer. Around 3 to 13% of people with Barrett’s oesophagus will develop oesophageal adenocarcinoma, a type of oesophageal cancer, in their lifetime.

Lunch and learn

Hospital Services Limited and Belgium tech company Barco are teaming up to offer a series of lunch and learn sessions for radiology teams.

During the months of July, August and September, the HSL and Barco teams will visit radiology departments across Great Britain to host educational lunch sessions which can be integrated as part of scheduled radiology governance meetings or be held as a standalone staff training and networking event.

Dominic Walsh, chief executive of HSL, said: “As a relationship-orientated company, we have missed the opportunity to spend time with our clients during a period of reduced contact due to Covid-19 guidelines.

“As restrictions ease, we look forward to catching up with radiology teams, reviewing technologies already in place within their facilities, and sharing with them the advancements that have taken place over the last year.

“Additionally, we are looking forward to hosting lunches as a thank you for the important work carried out by radiology departments across the UK this past year.”

TeleTracking Technologies expands work with NHS

TeleTracking Technologies, specialists in patient flow, capacity management and health system command centre technology, is expanding its footprint within the NHS to support trusts with bed management, capacity management and patient flow software.

TeleTracking has worked with hospitals and health systems across the UK, United States and Canada to deliver its hospital capacity management and patient flow technology for more than three decades.

The TeleTracking platform provides real time transparency across all care settings and provides actionable and meaningful data to staff for better, faster, and safer decisions around patient care transitions, bed management and resource planning.

Neil Griffiths, managing director TeleTracking UK, said: “As care delivery and capacity management becomes more complex, finding ways to coordinate patient care across care settings is one of the most important challenges facing the NHS.

“Since our foundation in 1991, we continue to learn from our work with over 1,100 hospitals, 40 of which are in the UK, on how to add efficiencies to every element of the patient flow process for improved patient care and workforce support.”

IgniteData and AstraZeneca collaborate on clinical studies

IgniteData and AstraZeneca have partnered with the aim to revolutionise the way clinical trials are conducted at hospitals.

The collaboration involves a technical proof of concept and pilot programme of IgniteData’s digihealth application Archer, designed to enhance interoperability between Electronic Health Records (EHR) and key research applications such as Electronic Data Capture (EDC).

By automating the flow of true regulatory-grade data, Archer addresses one of the largest problems in clinical research – the interoperability of data. Archer helps reduce the need to manually enter data and monitor queries.

Dan Hydes, chief executive of IgniteData, said: “From the outset, we designed our model to protect patients and their data, while keeping the hospital in full control, thereby facilitating the automated flow of true regulatory-grade data for the first time.

“These are just the first steps on a much longer journey to solve this industry-wide problem, and we’re glad to be starting it in the company of AstraZeneca.”

Mats Sundgren, health informatics director AstraZeneca, added: “Nearly 50% of data used for clinical trials is duplicated across EHRs and EDCs, wasting a huge amount of time and staff resources.

“If successful, this project has the potential to fundamentally improve the delivery of clinical trials in hospital settings that ultimately could lead to industry wide transformational change.”