Mike Casey, CEO of FutureNova talks about the use of digital technology in the NHS and how FutureNova ’s new product is helping to battle the spread of infection within hospitals
Who are you and what do you do?
As a former director in the NHS, I noticed a fundamental shift in the use of mobile technology, in particular the iPad, as an aid to deliver improvements in patient care. Recognising this trend, I set up an innovative start-up called FutureNova with the aim of enabling doctors and nurses to use mobile technology to deliver more effective care. My team and I work closely with clinicians in the NHS to help us develop medical products that provide true value for improving healthcare delivery.
What projects have you been focused on recently?
Infection control is a big challenge within the NHS. As the NHS introduces more mobile technology into clinical settings to improve care, there is a real risk for these devices to transfer infections between patients, staff and visitors. FutureNova have been working on a medical-grade ruggedized iPad case, called the FlipPad, that helps reduce that risk. It is developed and manufactured right here in the UK.
It has been backed by the Low Carbon Investment Fund as it saw massive potential benefits on lowering the NHS Carbon footprint and supporting the government’s initiative to become paperless by 2018. We also won a highly sought after design award from Innovate UK because they recognised the ground breaking technology behind our products and the obvious benefits to the NHS.
What is your latest innovation?
FutureNova launched the FlipPad to the NHS recently and it has been well received by nurses and doctors. The feedback has been positive because it can be easily and safely cleaned with standard infection control sprays to reach the highest hygiene standards. Our team is focused on innovating quality products to support the NHS with patient safety initiatives. It is made for the iPad Air and iPad Air 2, it has been designed to enable clinicians to use standard surgical gloves to operate an iPad touchscreen and it features a new antimicrobial glass that resists bacterial growth. It can be easily cleaned with standard infection control sprays, and is made to be resistant to shock and accidental spillages, to ensure innovative mobile technology can be used safely.
What does it mean for the medical sector?
With approximately 300,000 patients affected by a healthcare associated infections (HCAI) every year, costing the NHS an estimated £1 billion in total, prevention of transferring infections across hospital equipment is a key concern for healthcare providers. Patients with an HCAI spend an average of an extra 11 days in hospital. FutureNova ‘s FlipPad will assist the NHS in its efforts to reduce instances of Norovirus and C-Difficile by enabling the use of mobile technology everywhere in the NHS where infection prevention is important.
What are your future plans?
The European mobile health market is predicted to grow at 61.6% a year whilst in the UK the Department of Health has plans to arm healthcare professionals with access to information they need about a patient in real time, via mobile devices. The demand for the mobile technology in healthcare is growing rapidly and we plan to support the NHS with new innovations for different mobile devices alongside the FlipPad.