The AHSN Network has supported many innovators to help advance our health and care system. Find out more about successful innovations supported by the NHS.
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Smoke Free is a behavioural change app used to support people giving up smoking. The app incorporates evidence on how to quit smoking and includes more than 30 different behaviour-change techniques. Users are encouraged to stay smoke-free through consistent notifications of progress in terms of time, money saved, health improvements made and more. They can also employ the app’s “missions”, which are daily tasks designed to help people quit and stay smoke-free. A Smoke Free-led, randomised control trial of more than 28,000 participants found that those who engaged with the missions were twice as likely to remain abstinent from smoking three months following their set quit date. A subsequent randomised control trial found that the app’s automated chatbot increased quit rates even further.
Funded by an Innovate UK grant, the Oxford AHSN is working with Osler Diagnostics, a health technology company developing innovative biosensor technology and products. Osler’s main product is a portable, handheld device capable of taking a drop of blood and quickly testing for a panel of biomarkers.
Working with the NHS, Health Navigator helps predict and prevent avoidable urgent and emergency care, by combining artificial intelligence with proactive health coaching. This helps address the £6bn challenge of patients who frequently present at A&E as a result of not receiving the sort of holistic care (support, social services, referrals to planned care) that could have avoided the need for them to return. In addition to significantly improved patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), some deployments in NHS environments have shown: a 59% decrease in unplanned admissions; 52% reduction in A&E attendances; and nearly 40% reduction in total hospital costs for their patients (including bed days, NELs, attendances).
The Oxford-based firm Sensyne Health (formerly Drayson Health) uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop medicines and aims to improve patient care through the analysis and commercialisation of real-world evidence from large databases of anonymised patient data in collaboration with NHS Trusts.
Ufonia is an artificially intelligent system that monitors health and wellness through a conversation with a medical device voice ‘chat-bot’. Ufonia can provide autonomous, automated telephone-based clinical follow-up, which is applicable to the capture of patient reported outcome measures in numerous clinical areas.
Healthy.io is a health-tech company with a mission to improve healthcare outcomes by turning the smartphone into a regulatory approved clinical device. Its first product line, Dip.io, allows patients to do regular urine tests at home using their smartphone cameras and a digital testing kit and measures 10 parameters, indicating a range of infections, chronic illnesses and pregnancy-related complications.
Quality Hospital Solutions Limited (QHS)
Quality Hospital Solutions Limited (QHS) is a North East based company specialising in providing innovative products and solutions to the NHS.
AliveCor developed a portable ECG device to detect undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF). With the AHSN network the product has now been taken up across 11 AHSN areas and has contributed to the detection of 365 patients with undiagnosed AF in one year. This means that the equivalent of one stroke per day has been prevented by this work, saving lives, reducing disability, and saving almost £8.5 million for the NHS and social care service.
Workforce challenges threaten the ability of the health and care system to function. It is estimated the NHS spends £3 billion a year on temporary staffing. Filling vacancies can be a significant drain on NHS organisations’ budgets, as they often use locum staff – either from their own pool of “bank” staff, or from agencies which can cost on average 20% more.
The Digital Pioneer programme has helped to implement secure video communication to connect paramedics with local specialist stroke consultants from their ambulance.
Eastern AHSN and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust have been trailing Medic Bleep, a communication tool, to improve service efficiency and reducing delays in sharing patient information between clinicians, staff and outpatient departments.