New NHS app will make it quicker and easier to access health services

The free app will be available to everyone in England in December 2018

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The new NHS app will give patients safe and secure access to their GP record. Patients will be able to use it to:

  • make GP appointments
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • manage long-term conditions
  • access 111 online for urgent medical queries

It means patients will be able to secure a GP appointment with the click of a button, rather than join a queue of callers attempting to ring the local surgery at the same time each morning.

Patients will also be able to use the app to state their preferences relating to:

  • data-sharing
  • organ donation
  • end-of-life care

The app has been developed by NHS Digital and NHS England. It will be available through the App Store or Google Play and once downloaded users can simply sign up for an NHS account.

Full story here

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Cyber security boost to the NHS as NHS Digital joins forces with IBM

NHS Digital has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with IBM to provide a range of new and improved services to health and care organisations. These services will enhance data security and cyber security response and provide additional defence against increasingly complex, evolving threats.

The additional services will expand NHS Digital’s existing Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC)3 and enhance NHS Digital’s current capability to monitor, detect and respond to a variety of security risks and threats across the NHS, and offer expert advice and guidance

The CSOC expands on the existing cyber security services provided by NHS Digital and will include:

  • Enhanced services, such as vulnerability scanning and malware analysis, allowing NHS Digital to offer tailored and specialist advice to individual NHS organisations
  • Enhancement of NHS Digitals current monitoring capability enabling the analyses of data from multiple sources to detect threats across NHS Digital’s national systems and services
  • Access to IBM’s X-Force repository of threat intelligence to provide insight, guidance, and advice so health and care organisations can take appropriate action to prepare for, or mitigate against, identified risks and threats.
  • Security monitoring pilots across selected NHS organisations, to test a range of security technologies and identify appropriate solutions that could be rolled out across the NHS estate
  • An innovation service which will allow NHS Digital to quickly access new tools technologies and expertise to address new threats as they emerge and to allow it to adapt services to meet the changing needs of the health and care sector.

Full story at NHS Digital

Digital change in health and social care

This Kings Fund report aims to support  local organisations looking to undertake large-scale digital change. The document states that the future is bright for technology in health and social care, with local care providers digitising under their own steam and initiative.

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The report shares the lessons from five varied case study sites that have made significant progress towards their digital aims. It sets out the lessons learnt and tips for other organisations that are looking to progress their own digital change.

Overview

  • The use of digital technology in health and social care can improve quality, efficiency and patient experience as well as supporting more integrated care and improving the health of a population.
  • Large-scale change involving digital technology, such as adopting electronic patient records (EPRs) and shared care records, is complex and necessitates attention to particular aspects of the change.
  • This report shares practical learning from a series of case studies where significant largescale digital change is happening.
  • Key barriers to successful digital change include the constraints care organisations face in their workforce, tight budgets, organisations’ attitudes towards risk and the relationships that exist between care providers and key stakeholders.
  • Most of the barriers can be mitigated through time and effort and by treating digital projects as change projects, not IT projects. Effective and consistent staff engagement and resource allocation to the project are key factors in success.

The Kings Fund have also produced an interactive map which brings together case studies from across England, highlighting some of the places that are experimenting with and implementing new technologies to achieve better health outcomes or more efficient care.

Full report: Digital change in health and social care

A summary of the report is available here

Digital change in health and social care

The King’s Fund | June 2018 | Digital change in health and social care

A new publication from The King’s Fund has been created to support health and social care organisations that are looking to undertake large-scale digital change, no matter what their current level of technological advancement. The report offers a practical understanding of the factorsthat contribute to successful large-scale digital change by bringing together theexperiences of five case study sites that have already made significant progress towards achieving their change aims.

Although The King’s Fund frame this report in terms of ‘digital change’, it is important to note that for many of the people they spoke to for this research, this was a clinical change process, not specifically a digital one.

  • The use of digital technology in health and social care can improve quality, efficiency and patient experience as well as supporting more integrated care and improving the health of a population.
  • Large-scale change involving digital technology, such as adopting electronic patient records (EPRs) and shared care records, is complex and necessitates attention to particular aspects of the change.
  • This report shares practical learning from a series of case studies where significant largescale digital change is happening.
  • Key barriers to successful digital change include the constraints care organisations face in their workforce, tight budgets, organisations’ attitudes towards risk and the relationships that exist between care providers and key stakeholders.
  • Most of the barriers can be mitigated through time and effort and by treating digital projects as change projects, not IT projects. Effective and consistent staff engagement and resource allocation to the project are key factors in success (The King’s Fund).

Among the case studies featured in the report are  Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire and Frimley and Homerton University Hospital.

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Image source: kingsfund.org

 

You can download both the summary and the full report 
Of interest:

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):

 

 

London Hospital pioneers AI technology to reduce patients’ waiting times

University College London Hospitals | May 2018 | Revolutionising healthcare with AI and data science: UCLH and The Alan Turing Institute announces breakthrough partnership today

University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre and the Alan Turing Institute are working in partnership to improve healthcare through artificial intelligence (AI) and data science.

The Alan Turing Institute will use AI and machine learning techniques to enable analysis of large data sets which will identify bottlenecks and barriers, after identification these could be resolved to improve efficiency and reduce patient waiting times.  (via UCLH).
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Professor Marcel Levi, UCLH chief executive, said:

“With ever increasing numbers of patients and ongoing financial pressures, we need to try something different, something innovative, something longer-term.  The partnership with the Alan Turing Institute provides an opportunity to work with the world’s leading data scientists to do just this.

“Imagine a scenario where patients present to A&E with abdomen pain – our standard response is to check bloods, order X-rays or scans and in probably about 80% of cases, discharge for home management.  What, if through analysis of thousands of similar scenarios, we were able to identify patterns in the initial presentation of the 20% with serious conditions, such as intestinal perforation or severe infections? This could enable us to fast track them through to a scan and a swift diagnosis and could support clinical decision making to manage the 80% who need no further clinical input more effectively. Machines will never replace doctors, but the use of data, expertise and technology can radically change how we manage our services – for the better”.

Sir Alan Wilson, Institute CEO of the Alan Turing Institute, commented: “At the Turing we believe that data science and AI will revolutionise healthcare: not only through new technologies, as in the recent break-throughs in image recognition, but also through applying cutting-edge algorithms to the every-day problems facing the NHS such as A&E waiting times and other crucial services. We are very proud to be working with UCLH to begin a multi-year research partnership and driving the outputs of our research forward to deliver real impact across the whole NHS.”

The full press release can be read at University College London Hospitals 

Related:  University College London Hospitals A Research Hospital: implementing research innovation for healthcare improvement 

In the media:

The Guardian London hospitals to replace doctors and nurses with AI for some tasks

Evening Standard London hospital uses AI to cut A&E queues

Daily Mail Major London hospital is replacing doctors with ROBOTS to tackle mounting A&E waiting times and prioritise the sickest patients

Effectiveness of assistive technology in improving the safety of people with dementia

Study finds assistive technologies can improve safety for people with Dementia through reducing falls risk, accidents and other risky behaviour | Aging & Mental Health

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Objectives: Assistive technology (AT) may enable people with dementia to live safely at home for longer, preventing care home admission. This systematic review assesses the effectiveness of AT in improving the safety of people with dementia living in the domestic setting, by searching for randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials and controlled before-after studies which compared safety AT with treatment as usual. Measures of safety include care home admission; risky behaviours, accidents and falls at home; and numbers of deaths. The review updates the safety aspect of Fleming and Sum’s 2014 systematic review.

Method: Seven bibliographic databases, the Social Care Institute for Excellence website and the Alzheimer’s Society website were searched for published and unpublished literature between 2011–2016. Search terms related to AT, dementia and older people. Common outcomes were meta-analysed.

Results: Three randomised controlled trials were identified, including 245 people with dementia. No significant differences were found between intervention and control groups in care home admission (risk ratio 0.85 95% CI [0.37, 1.97]; Z = 0.37; p = 0.71). The probability of a fall occurring was 50% lower in the intervention group (risk ratio 0.50 95% CI [0.32, 0.78]; Z = 3.03; p = 0.002). One included study found that a home safety package containing AT significantly reduced risky behaviour and accidents (F(45) = 4.504, p < 0.001). Limitations include the few studies found and the inclusion of studies in English only.

Conclusion: AT’s effectiveness in decreasing care home admission is inconclusive. However, the AT items and packages tested improved safety through reducing falls risk, accidents and other risky behaviour.

Full reference: Lucy Brims & Kathryn Oliver | Effectiveness of assistive technology in improving the safety of people with dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis Aging & Mental Health | published online: 10 April 2018

See also: Assistive technology and dementia | Alzheimer’s Society