The latest Digital Health News industry round up feature news a former Pitchfest winner has partnered with a European health company and AI company Sensyne Health is embarking on a research journey to discover new asthma treatments.

Former Pitchfest winner partners with European healthcare provider

Former 2019 Rewired Pitchfest winner, TestCard, has launched a ‘test and treat’ service using its at-home UTI test kit in partnership with leading European digital healthcare provider, Zava.

TestCard turns a smartphone camera into a clinical grade scanner, which along with its postcard test kit provides immediate results and a treatment referral where indicated.

Zava’s telemedicine platform provides fast, affordable and safe access to consultations, testing and prescribed treatments from UK-based, GMC registered GPs.

The test and treat service will allow users to order a test from Zava’s Online Doctor with a consultation and a prescription delivered directly to patients’ homes.

The TestCard app provides clear answers as to whether a UTI has been detected and, where necessary, directs patients back to Zava for clinical advice and support.

Dr Andrew Botham, co-founder and CSO at TestCard, said: “Our aim is to make testing fast, accurate, and accessible for all. Our app provides clear results and next steps with no confusing medical jargon. A Zava online doctor, or other healthcare professional, can then use the detailed analysis to decide how best to treat you.”

Sensyne Health to conduct first AI drug discovery project

Clinical artificial intelligence (AI) company Sensyne Health has signed an agreement with Oxford University to conduct a multi-omics drug discovery research project in asthma.

The three-year project will focus on identifying novel drug targets for patients with severe forms of asthma that do not respond to the current standard of care and where pre-existing treatments, such as corticosteroids and biologics, are less effective.

Sensyne will apply machine learning and proprietary analytical tools to complex genetic, phenotypic, and electronic patient record data sets for the Oxford University ‘MultiOmics Project Study Genomics Asthma Project’.

The combination of three data sets will provide a platform for the identification of novel drug targets for the treatment of severe forms of asthma.

The IP in any novel drug target identified by this research will be owned by Sensyne Health with a royalty payment back to Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in line with the Strategic Research Agreements entered into between the parties and Sensyne in 2018.

Dr Timothy Hinks, senior research fellow at the University of Oxford and honorary NHS consultant at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said: “As a clinician caring for people with severe and difficult-to-treat asthma I’m hugely excited about this collaboration.

“We still don’t understand the causes of asthma, because in the past the scientific tools just didn’t exist. Now we’re at a point in history that we can use tiny samples from the airways of volunteers and study individual cells in incredible detail measuring how each gene is controlled, one cell at a time.

“As a scientist I’m optimistic this is going to bring about really significant new insights into the mechanisms that drive asthma, so we can develop some new treatments for this, the world’s most common long-term lung condition.”

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust reinstates Covid-19 virtual ward admissions

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has re-commissioned CliniTouch Vie to support a Covid-19 virtual ward at Glenfield Hospital following a rise in admissions across the region.

The virtual ward has been re-introduced to help manage the increase in Covid-19 admissions amongst younger people, as well as supporting the workforce as they face growing pressure and demand on their resources. The move is also a pre-emptive step ahead of the normal winter pressures the NHS faces each year.

Originally launched in late 2020 as part of the NHS’s rapid response to Covid-19, the virtual ward pathway was stepped down in April 2021 as cases and admissions significantly reduced, before being recommissioned to start again from 26th July.

Using CliniTouch Vie, provided by Spirit Digital, patients complete a series of tailored question sets and vital sign measurements, which are sent in real-time to clinical teams to review. The remote monitoring platform automatically generates a risk-scored list of prioritised actions, enabling clinicians to intervene and provide urgent care to patients showing signs of deterioration post-discharge.

Alex Woodward, deputy cardio-respiratory lead at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Due to a significant increase in the pressure on the local healthcare system we had to restart our Covid Virtual Ward to support the flow of patients through the system.

“Our partnership working with Spirit was an integral component of us being able to restart the service within 7-days as they rapidly delivered training sessions to staff and organised the delivery of equipment to our acute care partners.”

Poll reveals 63% of healthcare professionals feel ‘unprepared’ for winter

Perfect Ward, a specialist provider of digital quality improvement and safety solutions, has announced the results of the company’s recent Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) poll.

More than 120 attendees took part in the interactive poll which was conducted during a webinar which explored how to apply key lessons learnt from the pandemic to create an effective IPC strategy for this coming winter and the future.

When asked if they feel prepared for winter from an IPC perspective, the results are cause for concern with the majority of respondents (63.2%) saying they feel unprepared compared with 36.8% who do feel prepared.

Respondents were split almost equally when it comes to the effectiveness of their current IPC audits to prevent infection with 55.2% saying they thought they were effective, but 44.8% of respondents believed otherwise.

Alan Birch, chief commercial officer at Perfect Ward, said: “The health and social care sectors have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, although the results of our poll indicate the majority of organisations do not feel prepared to address the additional challenges this winter brings.

“This is a worrying trend that is likely to exacerbate already heightened levels of staff stress and fatigue and potentially put the health of staff and patients at risk.  In a fast-moving, constantly changing environment, our digital quality improvement solution provides robust support needed by the frontline.”

Emirates Health Services partners with Radar across 90 sites

The Emirates Health Services (EHS) has selected Radar Healthcare to deliver its quality and compliance software to 17 hospitals and 73 primary care centres.

The system will support them in delivering clinical incident reporting and patient safety outcomes.

Radar Healthcare has partnered with MEMITS Solutions, a Dubai company providing IT solutions for the healthcare industry in the Middle East region, to deliver its quality management software to the UAE.

The software brings together operational and often complex regulatory processes into one platform, including incident and event management, audit management and self-assessment, action and improvement plans, risk management, workforce training and compliance, business compliance and document management and quality performance tracking.

Direct Healthcare Group trains more than 12,000 clinicians using digital platform

Direct Healthcare Group (DHG) has revealed it has helped train more than 12,000 healthcare professionals since the launch of its Ethos digital learning platform.

The clinical education service was developed to complement existing nurse training and launched in January 2020 to support district nurses and community care workers who struggled to find easy access to courses.

To date, the free service has helped train more than 12,436 clinical professionals.

Graham Ewart, chief executive at DHG, said: “The Ethos platform has opened up learning for clinicians throughout the pandemic, and we fully expect online courses like ours to continue as professionals seek hybrid, virtual healthcare training which fits flexibly around their work schedules and lifestyles.

“Not only does Ethos ensure clinicians maintain best practice and understanding of varying needs and new medical device technology, but it is a great source of information sharing and many see it as a highly important source of networking in this regard.”