The latest Digital Health News industry roundup includes PhoenixSoft’s Data Companion solution being deployed at Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) and Ethical Healthcare Consulting (EHC) donating half of its profits to various charities.

PhoenixSoft’s Data Companion solution deployed at Milton Keynes

PhoenixSoft’s Data Companion solution has been rolled out at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to provide enhanced and real-time access to pathology data to support performance monitoring and rapid response to ad hoc data queries.

Data Companion provides bulk data extraction and subsequent real-time updates of pathology data into an accessible industry standard database. Through it, pathology patient and reference data from disciplines including blood sciences, microbiology, histology and blood transfusion become fully available.

It is also being used by Milton Keynes’s IT data warehouse team to link pathology data to radiology data and other data across the trust, whilst providing a full data conversion and archive solution.

NHS video service vCreate launches multi-language features

NHS-trusted clinical video service, vCreate, has launched a series of new features to improve access to healthcare for the 10% of UK patients whose first language is not English.

The technology allows the secure sharing of videos and messages between clinical teams, patients and families to digitise the patient pathway and enhance family-integrated care.

The service is used in more than 200 units across the UK and is mostly offered to families in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and paediatric neurology centres.

The new features mean patients and families can now select their language of choice when logging-in to the app, translating the entire interface and all messages to and from clinical teams so patients and caregivers struggling with language barriers can communicate effectively with healthcare professionals.

Ben Moore, founder of vCreate, said: “We’re thrilled to be empowering more patients and families with the digital tools to take control of their healthcare journeys and communicate directly with their clinical teams.

“The new updates aim to further expedite the patient pathway, enhance clinical insights and improve patient outcomes, particularly for those who struggle with language barriers.”

Dignio and AliveCor integrate for Leicester AF virtual ward project

Health tech specialist Dignio has joined forces with AliveCor to integrate its KardiaMobile device into the MyDignio smartphone app as part of the atrial fibrillation (AF) project being run by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

The move will allow seamless transmission of electrocardiograms (ECG) recorded by patients in the community direct to clinicians. Dignio has already been working with University Hospitals of Leicester to help run one of the first virtual wards to monitor and manage patients with AF.

AF patients admitted to hospital experiencing abnormal heart rhythms could spend two or more days in hospital with close monitoring to assess response to the treatment received.

With a ‘connected care’ solution like Dignio, suitable patients can now remain in their own home surrounded by friends and family whilst reducing the need to be managed in the hospital.

While the KardiaMobile device is a vital part of the ‘at home’ monitoring process, the method for transferring ECG data back to clinicians monitoring patients on the virtual ward can be challenging for some patients. Now the MyDignio app and KardiaMobile have been integrated, making the transfer of data much easier and quicker.

FOI Act data reveals recruitment crisis that may threaten delivery of virtual wards

Freedom of Information (FOI) Act data obtained by digital health technology provider, Spirit Health, has revealed the scale of the recruitment crisis that may threaten NHS England’s virtual ward ambition.

Spirit Health gathered data from 107 NHS trusts across England and discovered that 40% need to recruit additional staff to support the delivery of virtual wards.

Of trusts needing to recruit, 32.6% anticipate making appointments across up to three roles, while some trusts have stated they expect to recruit new staff in as many as seven different roles before launching a virtual ward.

Dr Noel O’Kelly, clinical director at Spirit Health, said: “Virtual Wards offer a lifeline to enable the continued delivery of first-rate care and be a strong addition to face-to-face services, which have struggled to keep pace with the current workforce challenges and lengthy patient waiting lists across the health sector.

“NHS staffing shortages threaten to undermine the exciting opportunity that virtual wards bring. Digital healthcare technology cannot support patients without the necessary specialists to operate it,” he added.

“These findings echo the frustrations that we hear from our partner trusts, who are reporting that workforce challenges are hindering efforts to scale this technology and achieve its full potential.

“We must urgently demonstrate the capacity of this technology to ease pressures for the stretched workforce, and thus attract fresh talent to support its delivery.”

Ethical Healthcare Consulting donates 50% of its profits to thirteen charities

Ethical Healthcare Consulting (EHC) has donated 50% of its profits to thirteen charities, nominated by the consultancy’s associates. The charities were decided upon according to how closely they align with EHC’s principles and underlying values, with £58,000 shared between them.

When deciding which charities to donate to, the EHC board agreed to give larger amounts to smaller organisations/individuals who would benefit most, to take into account the amount of overhead charities spent on administration, and to give to as many of the nominated charities as possible.

As a result, EHC has donated to the following organisations: Challengers, MIND, Chiltern MS Centre, James Firminger, Tech Mums, Sport inspired, RNLI, ClothCat, Off grid intentional communities in England, Margaret Haes Riding Centre, AJ and Friends, Water Aid and Alzheimer’s UK.

Hable to offer free technology training to all NHS staff across the UK

Leading change management practice Hable are offering free technology training to all NHS staff across the UK, following a successful project with NHS Digital.

Hable recently partnered on the launch, recruitment and training of the most successful nationwide digital champions programme within the NHS to date. The free training will be run as week-long programme of lunch and learn sessions.

It will give NHS staff a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities within Microsoft Teams, expand their knowledge on healthcare specific tools within Microsoft 365, and learn some soft skills to drive change within organisations.

Hable are delivering the learning completely free of charge, hoping that by increasing digital knowledge within the NHS, staff will benefit from increased productivity, learn more efficient ways of working, and free up time to focus on what is actually important in their day-to-day job roles.

The week of learning begins on Monday 12 September with all sessions taking place virtually at 12pm until Friday 16 September.