West Yorkshire NHS patients will soon be trialling home testing for chronic kidney disease as part of its £30 million tech and AI innovation fund.
The trial will use the Healthy.io early detection device, which will initially be sent to 30,000 patients who are classed as being at high risk of developing the condition. Patients simply place a device in a urine sample and then use an app to scan the device. Results are delivered immediately and uploaded to a patient’s electronic medical record straight away, where they can then be clinically reviewed.
Analysis predicts that 1,300 extra cases of undiagnosed chronic kidney disease will be detected over the coming months. In addition, it is hoped it will prevent some patients in West Yorkshire from developing end-stage renal disease. Earlier diagnosis will help to improve health outcomes for patients and reduce pressure on the NHS by avoiding unplanned hospital admissions.
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for transformation, said: “The NHS is constantly looking for innovative solutions that will free up clinical time and improve care for patients, and the plans we have been able to support promise to do exactly that.
“… this latest push is another example of how local NHS teams are embracing the latest tech to improve care for their communities.
“While these innovations will be of huge benefit to patients and staff, they will also help keep people out of hospitals during what we anticipate will be another busy winter for the NHS.”
The trial of the detection device in West Yorkshire is part of the £30 million Health Technology Adoption and Accelerator Fund, which was launched by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England. Funding is available to local NHS teams to support faster deployment of innovations that could improve patient care through cutting waiting lists or speeding up diagnosis or that promises new and improved ways to treat patients.
Other regions benefitting from the fund include Norfolk and Waveney, and north east London. Here, older patients are being equipped with wearable technology that shares their vital health signs with the GP, allowing for health problems to be identified earlier. The Feebris kit monitors blood pressure and heart rates using a digital stethoscope, alerting GPs if their patient has a fall.
Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said: “Moving forward, I’m focused on adopting the latest cutting-edge technology to ensure patients can receive faster and simpler care in the comfort of their homes and cut down on unnecessary trips to hospital.”