The latest Digital Health News industry roundup features investment funding for Decently and Navenio, grant awards to support the delivery of an electronic prescription service in Wales and a milestone for Guy’s and St Thomas’ robot surgery programme.

CPSIF makes three grant awards for digital pharmacy innovation

The Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund has made three further grant awards to digital community pharmacy system suppliers, in support of the delivery of an electronic prescription service (EPS) in Wales.

Egton Medical Information Service (EMIS), Camascope and Clanwilliam are to receive the grants supporting them to develop their systems to use an EPS and receive prescriptions digitally instead of in paper format.

The fund is led by Life Sciences Hub Wales in partnership with the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio on behalf of Welsh government. The trio join PharmacyX and TITAN PMR who were awarded grants in the first round of the funding.

Professor Hamish Laing, senior responsible officer for Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, said: “This is fantastic progress and shows a real desire and commitment from suppliers to develop their systems to be EPS ready as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving applications from more suppliers in the next funding round so that we can accelerate the developments in community pharmacies right across Wales.”

The grants will support suppliers to introduce changes to their systems that will lead to paperless dispensing as well as integrate with the new NHS Wales app once it is launched.

Decently raises £500k investment to scale its team

The tech start-up behind the healthcare platform Melo, Decently, has raised £500k investment, which it will use to scale its team to support launching Melo across the NHS.

Melo helps clinicians and hospital staff to track patients’ behaviour as they recover from brain trauma to help address potentially adverse episodes in healthcare settings and to safeguard patients’ safety. It streamlines data capture and uses AI to spot trends and behaviour escalation patterns.

The funds were raised from the GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura, which is supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire & Warrington LEP and Bruntwood SciTech, with SFC Capital also participating in the round.

The £500k investment will allow Decently to launch Melo across the NHS and in private rehabilitation care centres. The platform is already being piloted by three northern NHS trusts: the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust; Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

James Burch, co-founder at Decently, said: “By using Melo, we can help ease the manual and time-consuming burden of data capture and incident logging on an already stretched workforce, which we know from working closely with various NHS teams over the last 18 months can make a real significant difference.”

Consultant Connect sees 18,000+ patients avoid unnecessary hospital visits

Consultant Connect has helped to keep more than 18,000 patients from attending hospital unnecessarily in Wales alone.

The technology ensures that GPs or paramedics can reach a specialist in seconds, to determine if a patient should be taken to hospital, and if so to which department in order to receive the correct treatment.

It was first rolled out across Wales three years ago during the covid-19 pandemic. All seven health boards in the country use it, as well as the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

In 2022 more than 32,000 calls were placed with the technology, with 58% of patients avoiding an unnecessary trip to hospital as a result. Calls are connected on average in 25 seconds, with 74% of calls being answered first time.

Alastair Roeves, national clinical lead for Primary Care & Community Care for Wales said: “All health boards in Wales and the Welsh Ambulance Service now have access to rapid advice and guidance over the phone or by message.

“Our focus going forward is to strengthen the role of Consultant Connect in supporting those specialties with the longest waiting lists, and to offer additional support for healthcare professionals working in pharmacies and care homes. We want to continue improving patient care by making it so much easier for clinicians to communicate more effectively and efficiently just when their patients need them to. ”

Consultant Connect is now also being piloted in a care home in Swansea Bay, with the aim of reducing the number of 999 calls made.

Navenio secures £5m to boost efficiency for patient care delivery teams

Oxford-based, AI-powered platform Navenio has secured $6.3m (£5m) in funding which it will use to help boost healthcare efficiency and capacity for patient care delivery teams across the world.

The platform is designed to locate people in hospitals and other indoor locations where GPS is ineffective. It can increase location response times by 40% and task completion by 94%, powering efficiency in healthcare teams and freeing up staff with more time to care.

Navenio’s technology streamlines patient care logistics and optimises workflow efficiency. It combines real-time location awareness of patients, staff and medical equipment, intelligence of task allocation, current path of motion and optimal route determination to automate the orchestration of patient care.

The funding round was led by Oxford Science Enterprises and will support the company’s expansion into the US and the development of new innovations.

Andy Carruthers, CIO, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “Navenio has enabled a 66% increase in efficiency and effectiveness in our portering workforce across the three Leicester hospitals.

“Patient flow and experience has improved by getting the right person to the right place at the right time, and the platform has been enthusiastically adopted by our teams. I look forward to expanding our use of Navenio to support additional workgroups and integrate into our other core technologies.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’ celebrates 10,000th  robot surgery

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has become the first trust in the UK to complete 10,000 surgical cases using the da Vinci Surgical System.

The trust installed its first da Vinci system back in 2004 and since then has gone on to pioneer the technology. It is now home to the largest robotic surgery programme in the country.

Mr Ben Challacombe, clinical lead for robotic surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Almost all prostate, kidney and lung cancer surgery is now completed robotically at our trust. Several complex operations have been pioneered at Guy’s and St Thomas’, having never been performed with standard key-hole surgery techniques.

“We have an excellent professional team around the machines themselves including anaesthetists, dedicated robotic assistants and nurses, and highly experienced surgeons.”

Initially used for urological surgery, over the past 20 years the robotics programme has evolved in both size and technological advancement.

The trust currently has five da Vincis and seven robots in total.

David Marante, UK regional director of Intuitive, the maker of the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system, said: “We’d like to congratulate the team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ who now join a small and accomplished group of hospitals globally that have pioneered the use of our da Vinci technology to advance robotic-assisted surgery and reach this incredible milestone of 10,000 da Vinci cases.”

East Midlands AHSN supports success for Moti Me

Moti Me, developers of a physiotherapy product to support children with developmental delay disabilities, used the knowledge it learned through innovation sessions from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and collaborators to find success at the UKRI Children’s Health Impact Accelerator.

The company participated in the Charnwood Campus Innovation Surgery, innovation sessions that are a synergistic effort between East Midlands AHSN, Medilink Midlands, Mills & Reeve and Charnwood Campus.

The sessions gave Moti Me the opportunity to engage in confidential conversations about the developmental trajectory of its product, which focuses on improving children’s health, by aiding them to reach significant milestones and facilitating regular physio exercises.

Following the sessions, the company decided to pursue the UKRI Founders Factor Children’s development bootcamp, an initiative backed by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council.

Katie Michaels, who leads Moti Me, said: “It is wonderful to have received so much help and advice from the Leicestershire Innovation team, being able to attend an Innovation Surgery and then the subsequent assistance in developing my pitching has resulted in Moti Me being accepted on the boot camp, which is a perfect fit.”

Alison Mlot, commercial manager at East Midlands AHSN, said: “Katie stands out as a shining example of a young entrepreneur who is deeply driven by a personal mission to tackle challenges in children’s health. Seeing her hard work and dedication being acknowledged with a spot on the Accelerator Programme is fantastic. This opportunity will undoubtedly give Katie the intensive support to propel her innovation to greater heights.”