In an effort to boost its telehealth services, NHS Liverpool CCG has awarded digital health company Docobo a three-year contract to benefit patients.
NHS Liverpool CCG began expanding its telehealth services in 2013 with its Mi Programme. The programme uses a combination of education, remote monitoring, automated alerts and access to experienced nurses to support people living with lung conditions, heart failure or diabetes.
The Mi programme has helped reduce both emergency admissions and demand on other health services and has made patients feel more confident and in control of their own health.
The programme now supports around 900 patients at a time, though with Docobo the CCG expects this to increase to nearly 5,000 patients every year. NHS Liverpool CCG will also use the system to support new clinical pathways and conditions.
Docobo gives patients a small recording device that they use to enter information into a portal that doctors can then access.
Carol Hughes, the clinical and operational lead for health technology at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, said: “Liverpool has been a trailblazer for delivering telehealth at scale and has produced some great improvements in our local patient outcomes and wellbeing. However, this is something that we now want to see used for the benefit of all patients, across the wider local health economy. It is embedded into the local health economy, and now is the time to grow. This is a really exciting time.”
Speaking about where the service was headed, Dave Horsfield, NHS Liverpool CCG’s digital care and innovation lead, said: “We’ve shown that a high level of professional telehealth support gives reassurance to people and produces good results, but we wanted to stretch the technical capability to open up other options. For example, when people came off the previous programme, we couldn’t offer a step down option that would enable them to use their own smart device to continue to access self-help advice.
“Because the programme aims to guide people towards longer-term self-management of their conditions, this was one of the gaps we were keen to fill. Docobo won the contract because they were best-placed to deliver everything we wanted. We were particularly impressed with the flexibility of their solution and their general attitude towards collaboration.”
NHS Liverpool CCG was keen to implement the Docobo system quickly to help support patients over the winter period.
The system has already gone live with around 50 patients every week being recruited onto it.
Adrian Flowerday, managing director, Docobo, said: “Liverpool is one of the most experienced users of telehealth in the country, by some distance, so we are particularly pleased that they have chosen Docobo to move forward from where they are today. Technology has a huge part to play in helping the NHS to cope with rising demand, while delivering a great service for patients. The message is that you need to use technology that delivers results, and that is what Liverpool has chosen to do.”