The latest Digital Health News industry round-up includes news of an online booking tool for flu vaccinations and how AI is improving the NHS blood supply chain.

Recognition for team behind innovative imaging technology

The Collaborative Imaging Procurement Programme team in Greater Manchester has been named as a finalist at the Go Awards.

The collaborative is a partnership between the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust who worked together to procure a new NHS image sharing platform for Greater Manchester.

The platform, Greater Manchester Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), enables medics to instantly share high-quality clinical images and scans across multiple medical sites. Its use means that patients are receiving better treatment through more informed care decisions. PACS is currently used across eight Greater Manchester NHS providers.

Chris Sleight, chair of the Collaborative Imaging Board, said: “I am very proud of everyone involved in the procurement of PACS which is a game changing technology for image sharing in the NHS and which is already having a very positive impact on patient care across Greater Manchester.

“This is helping with recovery and management of the pandemic. The new system will also facilitate future use of further cutting edge developments in imaging. Well done and good luck in the finals.”

The nomination for finalist is in the Best Procurement Delivery – Health and Social Care category. The awards recognise the best achievements in procurement across the UK’s public, private and third sector organisations.

Thriva launches new app

Thriva is enabling more people to monitor their health on the go with the launch of its first mobile app.

As well as providing users with actionable support; the ability to log daily workouts or meditations; explore in-app recipes; and monitor health improvements, new users can also order blood tests which will be delivered to their home quickly.

Results are delivered through the app and are easy to understand with GP advice and personalised health recommendations.

The app gives improved efficiency and access to Thriva’s services and is fully secure. It uses the latest encryption technologies and complies fully with the UK Data Protection Act 2018.

Hamish Grierson, CEO and co-founder of Thriva, said: We expect to manage every element of our lives at the touch of a button – from our money, to how we travel and now, our health. Thriva’s new app puts better health at your finger-tips with the support you need to understand and improve your health, on the go. This is another step forward on our journey to increase the Health Span of millions of people.”

AI saves waste for the NHS blood supply chain

AI company Kortical has put its technology to good use with a partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant.

The objective of the partnership was to see whether AI was able to help the NHS be more effective with its predictions on supply and demand in order to reduce ad hoc transport costs and reduce the volume of expired platelets.

The existing process used a machine learning tool combined with manual statistical modelling. The use of Kortical means the process is now fully automated machine learning and eliminates the need to rely on complex spreadsheet systems.

The Kortical platform was able to quickly absorb data sets to create algorithms offering strategic insights. According to the company its AI tech is already outperforming Google’s Vertex offering, averaging 2.47% better performance across all datasets and 10.75% using real life customer data. It also claims to be seven times faster than Vertex in creating the results.

Within the NHS blood supply chain, the AI solution was able to optimise the short-life blood product supply chain. Its use led to a 54% reduction in expired platelets and a 100% reduction in expensive ad hoc transport needs. It also achieved a ‘in full’ delivery rate of the same high level while reducing expiries.

Kortical is set to raise an investment round in 2021 as its year-on-year growth reaches 300%.

ViewMind and HP collaborate for cognitive diagnostics

Medical device and AI company ViewMind has announced a new development agreement with HP Inc which will see it rapidly scale its diagnostic technology.

The partnership will see the company use HP’s new Reverb G2 Omnicept VR Headset alongside its methodology to detect cognitive disorders in the pre-clinical stages. ViewMind can take over 10,000 data points through eye movements in response to visual stimulus which is delivered through the headsets. It then uses AI to deliver a diagnosis and monitor conditions.

Currently, testing for cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, doesn’t occur until symptoms present, delaying treatment to the point where is it unable to have a meaningful impact. By enabling earlier testing, ViewMind can help treat the condition decades earlier by suggesting lifestyle changes and treatment where necessary.

Jay Fraser, head of XR developer relations at HP, said: “ViewMind choosing the HP Omnicept SDK to tackle some of the major challenges in cognitive health diagnosis  highlights HP’s commitment to solutions that can make a significant global and societal impact in digital health”.

Not only is ViewMind’s test affordable, quick and simple to deliver but it is also 97% accurate, according to the company.

myGP web booking tool to launch ahead of flu season

A new web booking tool from myGP will enable primary care to offer multi-site booking options to its users.

Medical practices are already able to configure myGP to allow select patients to book their flu appointments directly on the app. The new tool will also allow booking directly online in addition to through the app.

The launch comes ahead of statistics from myGP highlighting the barriers many patients face when it comes to booking their flu jabs. It found that one in five patients surveyed don’t know who is eligible for an NHS flu vaccination in England. Two in five are unaware of how to book an appointment.

For those unsure how to book an appointment, 61% say they will call their surgery for guidance. The use of online booking and text reminders through the myGP app could take some of the strain of reception phonelines.

The research also revealed that 95% of patients eligible for a vaccine will wait until they’re sent a direct text reminder before they book an appointment. In addition 76.6% say a text message is the form of communication that is more likely to encourage them to book. The myGP’s Population Health Service is also able to send a call-to-action text message to targeted groups, which is proven to help increase uptake of vaccinations.

Tobias Alpsten, CEO at iPLATO Healthcare, who developed the app, said: “With a solution that covers more use cases, we are not only able to deploy messaging at scale to patients and vaccination appointment booking in the GP practice, we can also signpost target patients to the new online booking tool to access immunisation in the community.

“Beyond traditional invitation and booking, we can offer a chatbot solution developed by a partner to help educate patients on the benefits of vaccination and dispel some of the misconceptions that prevent people from having a jab. This, combined with our existing offering, will ultimately reduce the winter burden on our already overworked and tired NHS colleagues.”