The latest Digital Health News industry round-up includes the launch of a web-based career portfolio platform, the use of cloud data analytics to support holistic care and a new app to help arthritis patients self-manage their condition.

Career portfolio software launched for first contact practitioners

Nottinghamshire’s Primary Integrated Community Services (PICS) has partnered with healthcare tech provider Clarity Informatics to create software for first contact practitioners (FCP) which could reduce the amount of time spent collating evidence of learning.

The solution is a web-based platform that helps streamline the process of documenting and evidencing learning against the knowledge, skills and attributes (KSA) framework. The software is linked to learning resources, which makes it easy for practitioners, supervisors and other users to update a portfolio of lifelong learning.

Owen Moore, a clinical lead for First Contact Physiotherapists at PICS said: “The software is easy to use, and the ability to upload our learning on the go means we don’t have to think about it out of clinic time.

“The creation of a one-stop shop for learning makes our lives easier, and enables us to develop our careers in Primary Care whilst helping to treat and care for more people in our communities”.

The career portfolio software is designed for physiotherapists, paramedics and podiatrists working in Primary Care networks.

In October 2020, Health Education England introduced profession-specific roadmaps to practice for FCPs, which outlined set pathways for the treatment and care of patients in primary care. Estimates put the time spent collating and documenting proof of capability for each FCP at three days a month – time which could be spent caring for patients.

The new software integrates with Clarity’s TeamNet – Practice Management software – and will allow FCPs to populate their portfolio with evidenced learning collated in TeamNet.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh use Qlik Cloud data analytics

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced Qlik Cloud data analytics into its operations.

The move will help increase data sharing with key stakeholders, as well as enhance patient care in the cloud and facilitate a more holistic and cohesive approach to care.

The use of Qlik Cloud will enable the sharing of data with associated organisations, such as GP surgeries, mental health practitioners and social care teams. This data will be available to the right person whenever they need it regardless of location thanks to remote access to Qlik analytics via mobile devices and applications.

It will also provide the introduction of alerting capabilities, so that all staff are empowered to help patients proactively and in real-time.

Mark Singleton, associate director of data analytics and assurance at WWL, said: “With the introduction of alerting capabilities, we will empower every organisation in our network to achieve Active Intelligence, where the data not only informs our actions, but will help community-based professionals, like GPs and social workers, to understand when their support is required. This will truly augment our ability to proactively help patients in the best possible way as the need arises.”

The trust has been using Qlik analytics since 2012, but by extending the deployment to Qlik Cloud the wider health and care network can access data to help improve patient outcomes. Health professionals can access up-to-date, relevant patient information, without having to spend time searching through patient records, freeing them up to focus on delivering care and improving patient experience.

The Rheumatology Network for Dorset rolls out My Arthritis App

Rheumatology Dorset, Our Dorset Digital – a partnership delivering the region’s Integrated Care System – and Ampersand Health have teamed up to launch the My Arthritis App across the county.

The roll out will start at Christchurch Hospital, with other regional hospitals launching at later dates.

The app was co-developed with doctors and patients at King’s College Hospital, supported by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. It facilitates remote monitoring and communication between arthritis patients and their healthcare teams, and can also support patients’ mental health and quality of life.

The technology can support patients’ medicine adherence, sleep quality and stress levels, promoting self-management of the condition which can all help improve users’ quality of life.

Jonathan Marks, clinical lead for Rheumatology Dorset, said: “We know that patients who are engaged in their own care and have a strong understanding of their condition will feel more empowered and in control of their condition, and this increases their chances of better health outcomes.

“The My Arthritis App enables us to build better channels and processes for communication that can revolutionise the outpatient experience for both patients and clinical teams, bringing our communication into the 21st century.”

AI tool for radiologists developed by King’s College

Researchers from King’s College London’s Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences have developed a tool for radiologists which uses deep learning to generate diagnostic reports to help accurately identify prostate cancers.

AutoProstate is a computer-aided prostate cancer diagnostic system using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver automatic reports to help radiologists correctly identify when prostate cancer is present.

The technology can help relieve some of the pressure faced by the prostate cancer pathway – linked to a growing shortage of specialist radiologists who can read prostate MRIs – and help improve accuracy of radiologists’ diagnoses.

An early diagnosis of prostate cancer can significantly improve life expectancy, but current diagnostic methods can lead to cases being missed.

Pritesh Mehta, lead researcher, said: “The automatic report generated by AutoProstate will provide radiologists with additional information at the time of diagnosis, helping to improve diagnostic accuracy, save time, and enhance reporting quality.”

He continued: “A key benefit of the report is that is automates the calculation of several prostate and lesion-level biomarkers, replacing the crude estimation methods that are currently used.

“Crucially, all of the biomarkers are easily verifiable as the segmentation outputs of AutoProstate, used to calculate the biomarkers, are displayed in the report in an interactive way.”

The researchers trained the AutoProstate system using a publicly available dataset from Radboud University Medical Center, and then externally validated it with data from the PICTURE trial from University College London in 2014.

Swansea University receives £2.4m funding for dementia data repository

Swansea University has been awarded £2.4million in funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to continue and develop its data repository for dementia research, Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) Data Portal.

The portal gives global access to high-quality, multi-modal data from more than 50 population and clinical cohort studies.

The renewal funding means it will also receive a further £7.5milion from the MRC and up to £8.5million from partners.

Access to the portal allows researchers to identify cohorts who are relevant to their studies, and then apply for access to the data. It can then be analysed in a secure, remote environment which includes data linkage, analytical software packages and cross-cohort capabilities.

The platform operates on a Secure eResearch Platform (SeRP), a trusted research environment (TRE) provider, that was developed by Population Data Science at the university. It is led by Professor Ronan Lyons, Professor Simon Thompson and Emma Squires along with the team at Population Data Science.

Receiving the funding will help move the DPUK into its next phase where it plans to build on its achievements to date across three key areas. This includes the trials delivery framework, which will establish an engine for testing new treatments for dementia, and the Experimental medicine Incubator, which will support scientific studies into the condition.

Professor Lyons, associate director and data portal lead at DPUK, said: “We are thrilled that the MRC has provided funding to enable the partnership to continue its vital work.

“The 2.4 million funding for the DPUK Data Portal will allow us to continue to provide researchers with rapid, safe access to high quality, multi-modal data from over 3.5 million participants and to develop the portal into a global repository for population and clinical cohort study data.”