The latest Digital Health News industry round-up brings you news on acquisitions for Tunstall Health and Agilio, new software to support long Covid patients and the launch of the Bleepa app to support clinicians in their role.

Tunstall Healthcare acquires Secuvita

Global digital health and care solution provider Tunstall Health has announced the acquisition of Dutch technology solution provider, Secuvita.

The acquisition follows Tunstall’s commitment to its global strategy, particularly in light of the rapid acceleration in the adoption of digital health and remote monitoring systems worldwide due to Covid. Its pioneering healthcare solutions will now be provided across the Netherlands, benefitting the 70,000 existing Secuvita users.

Patrick Gaasbeek, director and owner of Secuvita, said: “Our customers, clients and employees will benefit hugely from the acquisition as we will be able to offer an increased volume of services and specialist solutions to meet health care needs.”

Tunstall has evolved in recent years from an equipment provider to a software solution and technology company that aims to improve quality of life and give individuals increased independence. It now operates in 22 countries, supporting more than five million end users.

Bleepa app now available for clinicians

Specialist medical imaging technology company Feedback plc has launched its Bleepa app – designed for remote, secure communications between clinicians and teams.

Clinical users at hospitals with a Bleepa contract will be able to download the app on both Apple App Store and Google Play. The CE marked medical device is the only regulated platform on the NHSX Clinical Communications Framework that allows users to share images at a standard approved for clinical use.

Via the app, frontline teams will be able to safely view images from X-rays, CT scans, MRIs or ultrasounds, alongside case discussion options in instant messaging form and video call facilities. It aims to support staff in making informed decisions faster and enabling better, safer patient care.

Dr Tom Oakley, CEO of Feedback, said: “Bleepa is revolutionising the way in which clinicians communicate by enabling clinicians to maintain control even when working remotely, smooth the patient experience and create a more effective and cohesive environment.”

The app also allows document capture to encapsulate additional patient information and ECG and blood test results. On-the-go access from any internet-connected device helps to facilitate clinical referrals and treatment decisions hospital-wide, between hospitals and pan-regionally for a truly networked care solution.

ICS prescribes Alexa as a digital health assistant

Elderly and socially isolated people in Staffordshire have been prescribed “little helper” Alexa devices to help them manage their wellbeing.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent integrated care system (ICS) piloted the use of 400 Alexa Echo Show devices to help people feel better connected and able to answer basic health and wellbeing questions.

Those who took part in the pilot reported that the devices were helpful and had made them feel more confident with using technology. One participant described Alex as like “having a little helper” while others said it provided companionship.

Ruth Chambers, ex- Staffordshire clinical lead for technology enabled care services programme, said: “It’s been great to see the interest in the use of Alexa devices by local people and their carers.

“We’ve lots of examples where a frail isolated person has gained confidence and can engage with their families onscreen, do chair-based exercises, cook healthy food with recipes highlighted by Alexa.

“There’s lots of interest in our unofficial guide for patients and carers to using Alexa, published by Wavemaker – whose motto is ‘Tech for good, for all.”

NHS Lincolnshire STP appoints Spirit Digital to implement its virtual ward

NHS Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership has selected Spirit Digital to underpin its virtual ward and domiciliary care initiative, through Spirit’s CliniTouch Vie digital remote monitoring platform.

As part of NHS Lincolnshire’s wider remote monitoring strategy, the technology will be deployed to monitor and support patients living in their own homes across the county. It will promote joint working across the wider health and care systems through the appropriate escalation of individual’s needs to the designated specialist in the area.

Sitting alongside the enhanced health in care homes programme, its aim is to augment and accelerate proactive care requirements.

Nicola Haywood-Alexander, CIO at NHS Lincolnshire, said: “We chose Spirit’s CliniTouch Vie platform due to its proven success in delivering virtual ward programmes for patients with COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], heart failure, early hospital discharge and Covid-19: the exact cohorts of patients that we had identified as a priority to prevent readmission by the early identification of deterioration, whilst maximising clinic time and resources.”

It’s hoped the technology will reduce GP and ambulance call outs, overnight hospital admissions and same-day hospital stays.

Nuffield Health’s Covid-19 Rehabilitation programme to be enabled by Lumeon

The UK’s first specialist programme to support patients recovering from the effects of long Covid, is being supported by Lumeon’s Care Journey Orchestration platform.

The platform is integrated with Nuffield Health’s Salesforce platform and will automatically deliver an initial patient assessment questionnaire for anyone on the rehabilitation scheme. Based on responses, a patient triage session will be triggered, which will lead to the creation of a personalised recovery plan for care. Additionally, patient-reported outcomes are automatically measured at intervals and then shared with Nuffield Health staff.

“Rapid intervention with Covid rehabilitation is vitally important to peoples’ long-term health. However, getting it right and scaling it when care teams are stretched is also essential,” said Robbie Hughes, Lumeon CEO.

“This is where the healthcare industry is increasingly capitalising on Lumeon’s automation technology to help ease the burden on care teams and choreograph people’s care journey with precision.”

Integration with the platform has enabled Nuffield Health to scale its 12-week programme across 40 regional centres.

Agilio makes third acquisition of 2021

Agilio has announced is third acquisition for this year – Clarity Informatics, provider of operational IT solutions to primary care healthcare professionals and organisations.

Clarity’s appraisal software is used by more than 80% of GPs in England to complete their annual appraisals, while TeamNet’s compliance and sharing software is used in more than 60% of English GP practices.

Neil Laycock, chief operating officer at Agilio Software Group, said: “With clarity now part of our family, we have the tools to provide practical support to GP surgeries and the wider primary care sector – where post-Covid pressures are particularly acute – during that recovery journey.”

This year’s previous acquisitions by Agilio were myHRtoolkit, SME HR support provider, and Inica’s cloud-based dental practice operations modules.

Bupa increases its focus on digital healthcare

Bupa has furthered its commitment to Microsoft Azure in a bid to increase its digital healthcare focus.

The business applications suite, Dynamics 365, will be rolled out to Bupa teams in the UK and Australia. When combined with Azure-based applications, the organisation will be able to offer more personalised, insight-led healthcare – a key part of its strategy to become the most customer-centric healthcare company in the world.

Diana Kennedy, Bupa’s chief technology and architecture officer, said: “Microsoft Azure services will enable Bupa to take a significant leap forward on our digital transformation journey. It will help us accelerate the delivery of digital solutions and improve services to our customers supporting our ambition to become the most customer-centric healthcare company in the world.”

The use of Microsoft Azure services will enable Bupa to be more agile, responding to the digital needs of employees and customers. To further improve its engagement with clients and patients, the healthcare company is also looking to utilise machine learning and AI.

EIT Digital Venture Program enables Revolab’s development 

Lithuanian start-up Revolab’s new platform is designed to keep track of users’ overall physical wellbeing through a home blood test kit and a smartphone app.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of self-test kits as people decided to take charge of their own health. Following simple step-by-step instructions, Revolab’s users collect a finger-prick blood sample and return it to the company. Results are then processed and available – via the app – within 24-hours.

Winning the 2020 EIT Digital Venture Program enabled the company to develop their idea and prototype into a working product. The program is designed to take start-ups from idea to investment in under a year, working through idea conception to MVP, market validation and funding.