Hundreds of lives saved through new tech to spot sepsis

NHS England | August 2019 | Hundreds of lives saved through new tech to spot sepsis

An innovation that uses algorithms to to read patients’ vital signs, alerts medics to worsening conditions that are a warning sign of sepsis, has saved hundreds of people from sepsis.  The new ‘alert and action’ technology is already being used in three leading hospitals,  and is now part of a f a major nationwide push to tackle the condition including a one hour identification and treatment option.

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In Liverpool, the hospital’s digital system brings together lab results and patient observations into one place to help staff diagnose and treat suspected sepsis, saving up to 200 lives a year.

In Cambridge, deaths from sepsis have fallen consistently over the last three years, with at least 64 lives saved in the past year thanks to the innovative alert and action feature.

In Berkshire since introducing a digital system, the Trust has increased screening rates by 70% with nine in 10 patients now consistently screened for sepsis during admission as opposed to two in ten beforehand, allowing doctors to spot more cases sooner.

The schemes are part of a national effort to push best practice and new technology across the NHS, to help hospitals learn from the success of others and spread use of the best technology further, faster (Source: NHS England).

Read the full press release from NHS England 

Hundreds of lives saved through new tech to spot sepsis

 

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NHS health information available through Amazon’s Alexa

The NHS is collaborating with Amazon to provide reliable health information from the NHS website through voice-assisted technology | Department of Health and Social Care

Voice-assisted technology will help patients, especially the elderly, blind and those who cannot access the internet through traditional means, to get professional, NHS-verified health information in seconds, through simple voice commands.

Amazon’s algorithm uses information from the NHS website to provide answers to voice questions such as:

  • “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?”
  • “Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?”
  • “Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox”

amazon-echo-dot-3597986_1280.pngThe technology has the potential to reduce the pressure on the NHS and GPs by providing information for common illnesses.

Voice search has been increasing rapidly. By 2020, half of all searches are expected to be made through voice-assisted technology.

NHSX will look at ways of making more NHS services available to all patients through digital technology. The announcement supports the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to make more NHS services available digitially.

Full story at Department of Health and Social Care

Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare

Making the right choices: Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare | Reform 

This report examines the current landscape of data-driven technologies and their applications in mental healthcare, highlighting areas where these tools offer the most potential for the NHS and its patients.  It discusses what makes mental health different from other areas of health, and the implications this has for the application of data-driven tools. It examines barriers to implementation, and proposes ways to move forward.

Key recommendations:

  • The National Institute for Care and Health Excellence should make guidelines and protocols machine-readable to inform Clinical Decision Support Systems used in mental healthcare. This would make the guidelines more accessible to frontline practitioners and enable the guidelines to be continuously improved in accordance with up-to-date clinical evidence.
  • In order to improve understanding of mental health conditions, NHS Digital should develop a repository using data held by NHS organisations to help researchers securely identify suitable participants for mental health research studies and assess the feasibility of research projects at early stages. Similar governance frameworks to the Scottish Health Research Register should be employed.
  • NHSX should require all healthcare providers to design interoperable systems and ensure data portability. This would allow data generated from technologies such as wearables and sensors to be transferred across platforms.

Full report: Making the right choices: Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare

Data-Driven Tech in Mental Healthcare: Why is this research important?

 

 

How One Junior Doctor Is Developing Tech To Modernize The NHS

Forbes | June 2019| How One Junior Doctor Is Developing Tech To Modernize The NHS

A new article in Forbes magazine, highlights the work of Paediatrician, Dr Lydia Yarlott a junior doctor who is using technology to  improve efficiencies across the NHS and accelerate patient care. In 2016 Dr Yarlott created Forward, a messaging platform which is a safe alternative to WhatsApp and older technology such as pagers. 

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Yarlott’s invention will  make it easier for doctors and nurses to communicate in hospitals and give them more life-saving time. One estimate is that the NHS uses 130,000 pagers alone, which represents 10% of global usage and costs £6.6 million yearly.

Yarlott says:”We are developing Forward as a smartphone app which clinicians download for free and use to contact one another, exchange patient information and make decisions, and manage their workload,” (Source: Forbes)

Read the full news story at Forbes 

NHS Trust develops text messaging service to help quit smoking

Digital Health Age | June 2019 | NHS Trust develops text messaging service to help quit smoking 

NHS patients in Gateshead who smoke and want to stop immediately are now able to access a behavioural change text message service, that is designed to provide daily ‘nudges’ of motivation and advice that can give them the support they need when they need it.

In the UK smoking is responsible for the deaths of one in five adults aged 35 and over, and around half of long-term smokers will die as the result of their addiction.

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Rob Allcock, chest physician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead said: “Whilst smoking rates across Gateshead have fallen by more than a third over the last eight years, smoking remains our largest cause of preventable death and it’s critical we continue to provide the region with education, information and support to help people put a stop to their addiction.”

The smoking cessation service was designed and developed by the Trust’s Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) team and launched in January 2019. Since its launch six months ago, hundreds of patients have accepted support to stop smoking and have benefited from daily support via their mobile phones.

GDE project lead Mark Hurrell said: “Patients discharged from hospital, those planned for admissions and outpatients are now asked if they smoke and all smokers who wish to stop are uploaded onto the mobile phone based service. Patients are then sent a series of motivational support messages over a three-month period and are also directed to appropriate stop smoking support”. (Source: Digital Health Age )

Full, unabridged story is available from Digital Health Age 

Achieving a digital NHS: Lessons for national policy from the acute sector

Nuffield Trust | May 2019 | Achieving a digital NHS: Lessons for national policy from the acute sector

With the creation of NHSX, which will unite digital leaders from NHS England, NHS Improvement, and the Department of Health and Social Care to lead on setting standards for technology use, championing and developing digital training and ensuring NHS systems can talk to each other across the health and care system, the Nuffield Trust wanted to know:

  • How national policy impacted on a trust’s approach to digitisation
  • How national policy was helping and hindering digital progress
  • What national policy could do differently to better support digitisation on the ground

 

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Image source: nuffieldtrust.org.uk

To this end the Nuffield Trust spoke to 72 senior digital leaders in national organisations and NHS trusts as well as frontline health care professionals. Now the Nuffield Trust have published Achieving a digital NHS, which is based on discussion with 72 senior digital leaders in national organisations and NHS trusts as well as frontline health care professional national policy for digitisation, is working from the perspective of acute trusts. This  report seeks to understand how national policy for digitisation is working from the perspective of acute trusts (Source: Nuffield Trust).

Achieving a digital NHS: Lessons for a national policy from the acute sector 

Achieving a digital NHS

Creating a digital NHS is a national policy priority. The NHS Long Term Plan emphasised  commitment to the digital agenda and promised fully digitised secondary care services by 2024. This report looks at digitisation from the perspective of acute trusts, and examines what lessons can be learnt for national policy | Nuffield Trust

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As a new body, NHSX, has been established to lead national policy for technology, digital and data, and with the Secretary of State firmly behind plans to create a fully digital NHS, this report seeks to understand how national policy for digitisation is working from the perspective of acute trusts.

The authors spoke to 72 senior digital leaders in national organisations and NHS trusts as well as frontline health care professionals in an attempt to understand how national policy for digitisation is working from the perspective of acute trusts. The researchers wanted to know:

  • How national policy impacted on a trust’s approach to digitisation
  • How national policy was helping and hindering digital progress
  • What national policy could do differently to better support digitisation on the ground

This report sets out a number of areas that would benefit from national attention. A clear theme across all of the areas is the need for better communication and engagement between national policy makers and NHS providers.

Full report: Castle-Clarke S and Hutchings R  (2019) | Achieving a digital NHS: Lessons for national policy from the acute sector | Nuffield Trust