UK Space Agency & NHS England call for innovators to develop space tech to address major health and care challenges

NHS England | 2018| NHS England and UK Space Agency launch multi-million pound drive to improve patient care

As part of a joint initiative with NHS England, The UK Space Agency has announced a £4 million of funding that it is allocating to the NHS.  The funding is available to help address four  specific health and care challenges in the NHS.

These include:

  • Managing long term conditions including joining up health and care services
  • Earlier diagnosis of cancer
  • Transforming GP services and other primary care
  • Meeting mental health needs

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The initiative exists to design for use in space will be adapted into medical applications to improve NHS treatment and care. The four successful innovators will be supported by the UK Space Agency, NHS England and the European Space Agency

Space technology has a history of being utilised in the NHS, notable examples include a pill camera that patients swallow, wearables to prevent falls among the elderly, apps that help to prevent skin cancer, breast screening vans that send images to assessment centres

Professor Tony Young, NHS England’s national clinical director for innovation, said: “Throughout its 70 year history the NHS has been at the forefront of healthcare innovation.

“Through this competition we are seeking the latest greatest, ideas and technical solutions to help address the modern challenges facing our health and care services.”

The UK’s space industry builds 40 per cent of the world’s small satellites and 25 per cent of the world’s telecommunications satellites. It supports 40,000 jobs and generates £14 billion in revenue across the country.

Full details on how to become involved are available  from NHS England here

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Dementia patients could remain at home longer thanks to ground breaking technology

Innovative new technology could enable people with dementia to receive round the clock observation and live independently in their own homes, a new study reports. | University of Surrey | via ScienceDaily

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Researchers from the University of Surrey in partnership with Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have developed state of the art Artificial  technologies, powered by machine learning algorithms, to monitor the wellbeing of people with dementia.

The study known as Technology Integrated Health Management (TIHM) for dementia, uses the ‘Internet of Things,’ a network of internet enabled devices (sensors, monitors and trackers) installed in homes, which can detect an immediate crisis as well as changes in people’s health and daily routines. Any change could indicate a potential health issue and if identified early could prevent a person from becoming seriously unwell and requiring emergency hospital admission.

The well-being of people with dementia can also be monitored using this innovative technology which can detect agitation and irritability.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Journal reference:  Shirin Enshaeifar, S. et al. | Health management and pattern analysis of daily living activities of people with dementia using in-home sensors and machine learning techniques | PLOS ONE |  2018; 13 (5):

 

 

Driving improvement: Case studies from GP practices

This publication from the Care Quality Commission looks at 10 GP practices that have achieved a significant improvement on their rating.

Key themes

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Image source: http://www.cqc.org.uk

The practices in this report faced similar challenges. They all showed an impressive commitment to improve their service to patients. To achieve this they shared common experiences:

  • strong leadership from a practice manager with the time and skills to lead the practice team
  • addressing staffing and training issues such as poor recruitment or training practices
  • making sure every member of the practice team understood their own and others roles and responsibilities
  • involving the whole team in running the practice
  • involving patients and the local community
  • using external support to help improvement

Their experiences show that improvement in GP practices is possible. The case studies highlight some clear actions that other practices can use to help them learn and improve.

Full report: Driving improvement: Case studies from 10 GP practices

Reducing long hospital stays

Guide to reducing long hospital stays|  NHS Improvement

hospital-1806111_1920 (1)Nearly 350,000 patients currently spend over three weeks in acute hospitals each year. Many are older people with reduced functional ability (frailty) or cognitive impairment. The benefits of reducing hospital bed occupancy are clear, but achieving it has proven difficult, particularly during winter.

This guide details practical steps to implement approaches to reduce length of stay. It is primarily aimed at acute and community trusts, but also makes reference to how system partners can play a supporting role.

Full document: Guide to reducing long
hospital stays

Additional link: NHS England press release