NHSX funds 14 new projects to support patients using digital technology

Technology-led projects awarded funding to help improve patient support

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust are one of 14 groups to receive funding to accelerate technologies that will support patients to live more independently. They are using patientMpower’s remote patient monitoring platform to improve access to specialist respiratory services

From remote cardiac rehabilitation services to digital self management and parental support services for young people with eating disorders, NHSX has revealed the winners of the first phase of the Digital Health Partnership Award.

The initiative supports projects that leverage the value of technology, delivery, and evaluation partnerships and is designed to help NHS organisations in England accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies to support patients with long-term conditions.

Organisations applying for the award needed to provide evidence of impact, efficacy, and value and demonstrate how partnerships added value to their proposal.

In addition to innovation in digital technology, a number of the projects build on existing services to ensure more patients can benefit from remote healthcare.

For instance, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is expanding its secure video service that enables patients and carers, as well as their doctors, to share seizure videos across their neurology service; while Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust is expanding its remote health monitoring service.

Winning projects also include:

  • Delivery of a supported self-management prehabilitation intervention for all patients undergoing surgery - aiming to initially support patients to use technology to optimise long-term conditions, cancer, and preparation for surgery and improve physical and mental fitness for surgery
  • Providing cardiac rehabilitation services through remote monitoring, with patients also offered a range of devices such as blood pressure and pulse oximeter service which will enable a wearable activity tracker and smart scales

Tara Donnelly, chief digital officer at NHSX, said: “Through our Digital Health Partnership Award, these organisations will have access to the expertise and support they need to adopt or expand their digital capabilities safely and effectively, allowing many more patients with long-term conditions to receive their care from the comfort of their homes rather than always having to attend primary and acute settings.”

Rhod Joyce, deputy director of innovation development at NHSX, adds: “Each of our 14 winners are fantastic and innovative examples from across the health sector of how the latest in digital technology has the potential to enhance patient care and also support frontline staff.”

The Digital Health Partnership Award will be run across two phases from 2021-2022, with the second phase opening for bids later this month.

The winners in full

1. Respiratory remote monitoring programme, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust, and patientMpower

The trusts and partners will deliver a project to improve access to specialist respiratory services for the right patients at the right time, while supporting patients to better manage their health from home.

The respiratory teams will work together to utilise existing virtual consultation technology in conjunction with a new asynchronous remote patient monitoring platform which, combined, will enable the transition of more face-to-face outpatient appointments to virtual, improve monitoring of disease, treatment response, and support self management.

2. Clinical messaging for hypertension support, One Health Lewisham on behalf of Lewisham, South East London ICS, and Doctaly Assist

One Health Lewisham has worked with partners to create a model for completing patients long-term condition reviews using a digital clinical messaging solution.

The flow uses a series of automated, asynchronous bot questions to request information from patients.

The answers, together with the patient’s medical records, are then presented to clinicians to allow them to make accurate clinical decisions.

The solution will be scaled by implementing clinical reviews in other clinical areas; health checks, diabetes, asthma, and COPD.

3. MSK care pathway, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with GetUBetter

The trust is providing citizens with an end-to-end, ‘digital first’ MSK pathway that will be available to the population either through prescription or self referral.

It will personalise content according to patients to enable patients to self manage their care.

4. Evidence based scaling of virtual wards, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in partnership with LUSCII Healthtech BV

Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust will deliver an expansion of its virtual ward project built on its innovative digital-first model of oximitry@home.

Working with partners to expand the project based on the learning and use of the technology into new pathways to include a COPD, delivering both admission avoidance as well as early supported discharge.

These organisations will now have access to the expertise and support they need to adopt or expand their digital capabilities safely and effectively, allowing many more patients with long-term conditions to receive their care from the comfort of their homes

5. Supporting eating disorders in children, East London NHS Foundation Trust and Barnardo’s

The trust will be developing a digital self management and parental support resource for disordered eating in children and young people that rapidly supports very-early intervention around eating disorders.

The focus is on reducing the duration of an untreated eating disorder and, in turn, the intensity and impact on the young person and their family.

6. Surgical self management prehabilitation, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and My mhealth

The trust will deliver a supported self-management prehabilitation intervention for all patients undergoing surgery.

The aim is to initially support patients to use technology to optimise long-term conditions, cancer, and preparation for surgery and improve physical and mental fitness for surgery.

This will help to transform surgical waiting lists into preparation pathways while introducing an expansion of additional surgical specialties.

7. Cardiac rehabilitation services, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw ICS will be providing patients who require Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation services through remote monitoring.

The project will also offer a range of devices such as blood pressure and pulse oximeter service, which will enable a wearable activity tracker and smart scales.

By using the service they will be able to provide more non-face-to-face options of cardiac rehabilitation for patients who are at risk of COVID, enhance the number of patients completing cardiac rehabilitation, and remotely monitor their patients’ physiological measurements, including during remote exercise classes.

8. Self care and remote monitoring support in primary care, NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG in partnership with University Hospital Southampton (UHS) as supplier of My Medical Record electronic patient record

This initiative supports the delivery of digital self care and self management through a digital self-care demonstrator programme across multiple practices and primary care networks.

The project will work with practices to deploy and demonstrate a range of digital self care and remote monitoring solutions to support practices and patients to better manage a range of conditions.

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust will be scaling up its remote health monitoring service in partnership with Doccla

9. COPD management, North Bristol NHS Trust and My mHealth

In order to promote digital healthcare, North Bristol NHS Trust is introducing digital health technology for patients with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This will support recovery at home and allow patients to manage their condition effectively, thus reducing the length of hospital stays.

10. Secure video sharing platforms, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and vCreate

This project enables patients and carers, as well as their doctors, to share seizure videos for remote clinical interpretation and management advice.

GOSH will deliver an expansion of this service to include the wider neurology service and the movement disorder service and will support children with complex epilepsy.

Each of our 14 winners are fantastic and innovative examples from across the health sector of how the latest in digital technology has the potential to enhance patient care and also support frontline staff

11. Supporting children with type 2 diabetes, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds Children’s Hospital, and DigiBete

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be supporting children and young people with Type 2 diabetes, their families and supporters, including the wider community and schools and health care professions.

By empowering patients through improved awareness, education, training, and ongoing support, this will create parity for those young people, helping address the inequalities that currently exist in the system.

12. Scaling remote monitoring to new pathways, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Doccla

CCS has already successfully implemented a remote health monitoring service and will be scaling this up, introducing new clinical pathways starting with a general frailty pathway, thus supporting additional cohorts of patients.

13. Hypertension remote monitoring services, Surrey Heartlands CCG, Inhealthcare, Intechnology, Technomed, and AliveCor

Surrey Heartlands will be extending its hypertension remote monitoring service to all poorly-controlled patients and will also develop digital pathways for patients with CVD and other long-term conditions so that patients can use a single digital health technology to manage multiple conditions.

14. Collaborative virtual monitoring, North West London Clinical Commissioning Group, London Northwest University Hospital, Imperial College Health Partners, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Luscii, and Patients Know Best

NWL CCG will bring together three acute trusts to establish remote monitoring across all conditions, leveraging the partnership to share learning and accelerate pathway transformation.

The benefits to the patient will be improved long-term management of their disease, better and co-ordinated multi-disciplinary team support during acute phases of illness, reduced complication through reduced length of stay less hospital admission, and better long-term management of their condition.

This will also give equity of patient outcome across NWL and better patient experience through clinician support at every stage of their care pathway.

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