Roundup: EU adopts cross-border interoperability for contact tracing, Northern Ireland to launch health tech for care homes and more briefs

Also, Swiss medtech company launches COVID-19 antibody test.
By Sara Mageit
07:36 AM
COVID-19, contact tracing, coronavirus

SMART COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST TO LAUNCH

Swiss medtech company, Bloom Diagnostics has announced the launch of its COVID-19 antibody test for professional use in the EU.

The Bloom System allows healthcare professionals to conduct COVID-19 antibody testing with real-time results using its Bloom Lab - a smart, Bluetooth enabled device which operates through the Bloom App on the user’s smartphone. 

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The Bloom System aims to eliminate long waiting times for COVID-19 antibody tests and relieve pressure on healthcare systems. It is also seeking approval for its home self-testing kit in Europe and the US.

The test can be used by healthcare professionals in the EU such as doctors, nurses, or pharmacists who can test for antibodies and offers additional, personalised information on each reading.

NORTHERN IRELAND ADOPTS HEALTH TECH FOR CARE HOMES

Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland (DHCNI) in partnership with HSC Trusts have been developing digital technology to help support care staff in residential care homes across Northern Ireland by providing an overview of the health status of residents during COVID-19.

Provided by UK digital health and remote patient monitoring company, Inhealthcare, the new service supports residential care workers to identify residents at risk and who may require timely clinical assessment by a registered nurse or doctor.

The service involves care workers completing a daily questionnaire with residents outlining the signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19. This then feeds the answers into an app which sends the data securely to community-based health care teams, such as district nursing and Enhanced Care at Home.

If any responses fall out of the range set, clinicians are alerted so they can intervene in the care of the individual.

NHS GRAMPIAN ROLLS OUT ECONSULT TO GP PRACTICES

NHS Grampian is providing its GP practices with a digital triage system to help doctors prioritise patients who need in-person care.

The health board and three integration joint boards that provide health and social care services in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray have procured the online consultation solution.

The platform, eConsult, allows patients to submit their symptoms or make a request to their GP online. The system allows practices to receive the patient's history in a document within minutes.

eConsult is a widely used digital triage system in the NHS across primary and emergency care. Fifty-one of NHS Grampian's practices have adopted eConsult.

EU ADOPTS CROSS-BORDER INTEROPERABILITY FOR COVID-19 APPS

The European Union has switched on cross-border interoperability for the first batch of COVID-19 contact tracing apps that use the Bluetooth function to calculate exposure risk.

Apps whose backends are now linked through the gateway service are Germany's Corona-Warn-App, the Republic of Ireland's COVID tracker and Italy's Immuni app, meaning a user of one of those apps who travels to any of the other countries can expect their app to send exposure notifications in the same way it usually would in their country.

In related news, British contact tracing apps have also planned to share data nationally, adopting a system of interoperability. Users travelling to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey will now get alerts if they come into contact with an infected person.

Users of the NHS COVID-19 app in England and Wales should benefit from a similar arrangement next month.

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