This Digital Health News industry roundup covers a new trial for the MyopiaX app and virtual reality headset, the launch of a new £11m ambulance hub in Bury St Edmunds and the Scottish health boards turning to Consultant Connect.

Maldaba partners with Nourish

Maldaba has teamed up with digital social care records provider Nourish to support the delivery and tracking of high quality, personalised care.

Maldaba is behind the Hear Me Now app, which enables people with a learning disability to better engage with their health and social care. It also provides a digital health passport.

The partnership will help with the digitising of social care by allowing healthcare professionals to record data more effectively at the point of use. It will also support the sharing of information more widely with relevant parties.

Denise Tack, director of partnerships at Nourish Care, said: “The Nourish Partnership Programme is designed around partnerships such as the one with Maldaba, with the impact on the end-user always being the core focus.

“Now is the time for care-sector technologies to work together in partnership, ending the reliance on pilots and siloed solutions. Digital transformation of our sector at scale can only truly happen if done collaboratively.”

Working together, Nourish and Hear Me Now will elevate the voices of people with learning disabilities, through input into the digital care plan in Nourish and through Hear Me Now. This will support more self-supported and personalised care and deliver efficiencies for healthcare staff.

Lindus Health and Dopavision assess viability of MyopiaX app

Clinical trial start-up Lindus Health and digital health start-up Dopavision have launched a new trial assessing the viability of MyopiaX, a smartphone app that stimulates dopamine release in participants’ retinas while using a virtual reality (VR) headset.

The aim is to help combat progressive short sightedness in children. Over the course of a year, the study will work with 20 participants in the UK aged between six years and 12 years.

Children will use the MyopiaX app and VR headsets to play games, which will stimulate dopamine release.

Dopavision is pioneering the development of therapeutic medical devices in ophthalmology, and the MyopiaX is the first treatment it will trial. Lindus health is responsible for executing the trial in the UK, including site selection, participant recruitment, endpoint data collection and regulatory submissions.

Mark Wuttke, CEO of Dopavision, said: “We believe MyopiaX has the potential to be the first clinically validated myopia intervention that targets the eye’s dopamine pathway digitally.

“The MyopiaX-1 clinical trial is an important milestone for us, as it will provide the first clinical insights into our unique therapeutic approach to manage myopia.”

max20 supports biggest-ever NHS transformation project 

max20 Project Solutions has played a key role in the successful roll-out of electronic patient records (EPR) across 10 Manchester hospitals.

The UK company delivers digital transformation projects for the NHS, and was responsible for cleansing and validating data to ensure it was fit for purpose.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust rolled out Hive, based on Epic software, across its 10 hospital sites. The new system provides a single hospital record for every patient and replaces hundreds of previous systems in different locations and departments.

Before transitioning to the new platform, max20 cleansed almost 750,000 existing patient records to ensure the quality and reliability of patient data. A team of over 1oo subject matter experts – including clerks, data validators and data quality experts – were embedded with the Manchester trust at several different locations.

Don Tomlinson, managing director of max20, said: “Electronic patient records will revolutionise healthcare and NHS trusts around the UK are engaged in a push to get systems in place to meet the government’s timeline. We are proud to have worked alongside the MFT team on this project.

“MFT is the largest NHS trust in the country and its EPR solution is one of the most ambitious transformation projects in NHS history.”

The new EPR will deliver a smoother experience for both patients and staff. It will also improve safety and operational efficiency, as well as drive new opportunities for research and innovation.

CergenX raises €1.2m for AI-powered newborn brain screening

Cork-based medtech company CergenX has raised €1.2m in funding to help it further develop its AI technology used to screen newborns for brain injury.

The CergenX systems allows non-specialists to carry out screening on infants, helping to keep costs down. The gold standard for assessing brain function in newborns is EEG monitoring which is complex, expensive and requires trained specialists.

CergenX’s system uses AI algorithms that can help pinpoint potential problems with brain activity in just 15 minutes. Co-founder and chief science officer Professor Geraldine Boylan said: “The device will help answer a very simple but important question for medical staff which is ‘should I be worried about this baby’s brain or not?’ ”

The funding was raised through a private financing round with participation from existing investor Enterprise Ireland.

The money raised will allow CergenX to expand its staff with roles in AI, product management and software engineering helping to accelerate the development of the newborn brain screener.

The company is now aiming for a 2025 release after undergoing regulatory approval.

Assura launches £11m ambulance hub

The UK private sector’s largest primary care property investor and developer, Assura, has announced the development of a £11m net zero ambulance hub in Bury St Edmunds.

In partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the 2,900 m2 facility will provide a crucial central reporting hub and also house training facilities and space for 33 ambulances.

When completed it will provide the local community with a crucial and efficient service, helping to reduce the pressure on hospitals and the NHS.

The development has been designed to be fully net zero in operation. It will achieve this by deploying a number of smart technologies to meet the site’s expected energy demand. This includes over 1,000 m2 of photo-voltaic (PV) panels, to generate renewable energy on site.

The announcement follows the success of Assura’s first ambulance hub in the West Midlands.

Tom Abell, CEO of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted to see work begin on the new hub at Bury St Edmunds, which will mean improved service for patients and modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for our teams.

“Staff will move from outdated stations to benefit from modern, fit-for-purpose facilities – including a gym and well-being facilities – and be better supported with on-site vehicle maintenance and preparation so ambulances are equipped and ready to go.

“The development of the central reporting hub will allow rapid and efficient preparation and deployment of our frontline teams to provide consistent, high-quality care to our patients. Sustainability is vital to our organisation and I am very pleased that the hub will be the first of its kind in England to be net zero.”

Scottish health boards turn to Consultant Connect

Three Scottish Health Boards are using Consultant Connect, technology that is enabling GPs to access the advice and guidance they need by connecting them to consultants in a range of specialties.

Health Boards in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire and Tayside are using the system to help alleviate pressures on hospitals and speed up care for patients. Patients who need to be referred to specialised care are sent straight away to the correct department, helping to improve the patient experience.

Through Consultant Connect there are over 40 rapid clinical advice lines available, including the mental health assessment unit line in Glasgow, and the Covid treatment enquiry patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU) line in Tayside.

The more-than-70,000 calls placed by clinicians to specialists meant that one in four patients were able to avoid an unnecessary trip to hospital. As a result more than 17,000 patients were also able to avoid being admitted unnecessarily, or left anxiously waiting for a referral.