A forward-thinking team of junior doctors, a digital diagnostics firm and a health app innovation company are the three finalists nominated for the Editor’s Award for Business in Healthcare at this year’s Med-Tech Innovation Expo.
Forward, an app designed by a team of junior doctors to support communication amongst clinical teams. has been nominated for its dedication to easing pressures on the NHS.
Two junior doctors, Dr Lydia Yarlott and Dr Barney Gilbert founded the app alongside mobile entrepreneur Philip Mundy, after becoming frustrated with the current systems used by the NHS.
Yarlott, said: “As soon as I started working in hospitals, I was struck by how much time I was wasting trying to navigate switchboards or running around trying to respond to my pager. The inefficiency of the set-up was staggering. I had a powerful smartphone in my pocket, but was stuck using a 1960s-style communications network. My colleagues and I were wasting hours every day; time we could have been spending with patients.
“After getting sick of the daily frustrations it was causing, my co-founders and I decided to find a solution. That’s how Forward was born. It’s a simple tool that can support the complex communication needs every clinical team has. You can instant message your team and easily contact others in the hospital without needing their mobile number. You can also prioritise tasks, manage workloads and share patient updates. Crucially, these communications are secure and subject to the highest levels of Data Protection, which is vital in our sector.”
The app is free to download for all NHS Clinicians and has since been taken up by 1,500 clinical staff across the UK. The team estimates that doctors and nurses could save up to an hour of their time every day by using the app.
Also in the running is Perspectum Diagnostics, a technology company which has developed a diagnostic aid for liver disease. LiverMultiScan is a test that combines digital image processing and trained experts to quantify and characterise tissue from a standard MRI scan of the liver.
One recent study conducted by researchers at The University of Birmingham and the University of Edinburgh, found that using the non-invasive LiverMultiScan as a first-line test can rule out the need for further liver tests, and could stop patients having unnecessary biopsies, saving valuable NHS resources and decreasing the overall cost of diagnosis. The researchers calculate a potential saving of around £150,000 per 1,000 patients.
Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and author of the UK’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy said of the study: “We are facing an epidemic of fatty liver disease in this country. New ways of accurately diagnosing disease early are essential if we want to tackle this growing issue, which is predicted to lead to many more cases of serious liver damage and people needing liver transplants. LiverMultiScan is a great example of a smart health technology discovered and developed by UK clinicians and scientists with clear benefits for patients, the NHS, and taxpayers.”
The third finalist is InHealthcare, which developed the My InHealthcare app. The app allows patients to track, monitor and manage their health remotely. It removes the need for patients to attend frequent routine appointments and gives them the freedom to manage their health, according to the group.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “My Inhealthcare is a powerful tool which helps people with long-term conditions to lead more independent lives. Instead of attending regular appointments at hospital or clinic just to provide basic indicators and receive simple information, patients can now harness the power of technology to do this remotely using their smartphones.”
“We believe that empowering people to take more control over their own health can have a transformative effect on their wellbeing.
“If adopted widely, My Inhealthcare could also have a transformative effect on the NHS by vastly reducing the number of routine or mundane appointments.”
Lu Rahman, head of content at Rapid Life Sciences (the publisher of all three brands) said: “We’re really pleased to be able to recognise these three companies during Med-Tech Innovation Expo. The expo is an opportunity to showcase the best-in-class in healthcare innovation, and when we were judging these three entries, we really felt that that’s what they represented.”
The winner will be announced at the Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards on 25th April in the Ricoh Arena’s Premier Lounge, where they will be presented with their award.