Roundup: EU4Health questions answered, Philips and NHS implement data integration hub and more briefs

Also, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS trust uses funding from NHSX’s Digital Aspirant programme to accelerate digital maturity.
By Sara Mageit
06:49 AM
Digital Aspirant Programme

Credit: Refero

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ANSWERS EU4HEALTH PROGRAMME QUESTIONS

Following the recent news of the EU4Health programme launch, the Commission has published questions and answers related to the programme's roll-out.

With plans to run from 2021-2027, the programme is the EU's health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the region's health challenges, supporting actions on disease prevention, cancer, the healthcare workforce and the digital transformation of health systems.

Amongst the listed questions is what makes the EU4Health different from previous health programmes?

In response, the release stated: "Never before has Europe invested more in health. According to a recent EU survey, 66% of EU citizens would like to see the EU given more say over health-related matters. The pandemic has shown that the EU needs greater coordination during health crises and health-systems that are more resilient.

"EU4Health is a stand-alone programme with a budget more than ten times that of previous health programmes. Actions like tackling cross-border health threats, making medicines available and affordable, and strengthening and digitalising health systems will be financially supported."


NEW HARDWARE FRAMEWORK OFFERS £250M PUBLIC SECTOR SAVINGS

The Digital Workplace: Hardware (Link 3) Framework has been launched to help the NHS and public sector organisations purchase cost-effective IT hardware.

Developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), the new procurement framework has the potential to save an estimated £250 million by offering consumer-orientated technologies and end-user IT Hardware products by 19 selected suppliers.

Replacing Link 2: IT Hardware Framework, the new Digital Workplace hardware agreement provides public bodies, such as NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), universities, emergency services and local authorities, with a compliant route to market for the end-user client devices.

The framework, which is due to run until the end of February 2023, with the option to extend to 2025, has an estimated value of around £1 billion.


PHILIPS AND NHS IMPLEMENT DATA INTEGRATION HUB FOR IMAGING

Royal Philips has announced it has supported the NHS’ Cheshire and Merseyside consortium to become the first regional hub supplying the UK's National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID).

The NCCID is a centralised database containing X-Ray, CT and MRI images from hospital patients across the country. It aims to support a better understanding of the COVID-19 virus and develop AI-powered technology, which will care for patients hospitalised with a severe infection.

Philips’ data integration solution for radiology, Philips Global worklist, was used to enable integration with the NCIDD’s secure central SMART Box server that will be required to support mass data collection, and research projects simultaneously.

 

DIGITAL ASPIRANTS PROGRAMME ACCELERATES DIGITAL MATURITY

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS trust (STHK) has used funding from NHSX’s Digital Aspirant programme to accelerate safer and more efficient care using clinical modules from System C’s EPR.

The trust’s transformation journey under the Digital Aspirant programme ranges from taking clinicians off paper for assessments, referrals and handovers, to the deployment of a real-time system for managing the flow of patients through the hospital.

So far, more than 2,000 clinicians and nurses have moved off paper for observations, assessments, handover and referrals. The new digital process aims to support the target to remove 90% of paper with over 30,000 electronic handovers completed per month.


TUNSTALL HEALTHCARE EXPANDS DIGITAL TECH PORTFOLIO  

UK connected care and health solutions provider, Tunstall Healthcare has launched a new product that provides two-way speech, fall detection and location tracking for vulnerable people.   

The Tunstall GO platform is developed by digital telecare manufacturer, Chiptech and provides users with the means to access help when away from home by automatically raising an alert if a fall has been detected.

Worn as a pendant or attached to a keyring, if activated by the user it will connect them to the monitoring centre, enabling the operator to establish the nature of the event. Activation also automatically notifies the monitoring centre of the user’s location, meaning appropriate assistance can be provided.  


CLINISYS GROUP CREATES SINGLE BRAND FOR EUROPE AND UK

European laboratory diagnostics IT vendor, CliniSys Group has created a single brand for its business in the UK and Europe.

The move forms a unified presence for CliniSys across the regions and aims to strengthen the groups' commitment to provide end-to-end diagnostic systems to support safe and effective healthcare systems.

In the UK, CliniSys is known for its laboratory information management system, which is installed in over 50% of NHS pathology laboratories. Tests for more than 40 million patients are processed on its order communications system every year with over 70% of NHS acute trusts using ICE for GP electronic requesting.


ST HELENS AND KNOWSLEY NHS TRUST DIGITAL ADOPTION

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS trust (STHK) has gone live with Refero’s telehealth and video consultation platform.

The platform will allow its clinicians and patients to have multi-party consultations with up to 50 participants and provides integration with the System C’s Careflow Electronic Patient Record (EPR) utilised by the trust.

The platform aims to significantly reduce appointment administration time and support the addition of family members, carers, interpreters or other clinicians on a patient’s video consultation.

Approximately 1,000 patients are already digitally connected with the trust’s clinicians to enable engagement via video consultation or messaging through a web portal, smartphone or tablet.  


EMERGENCY CALLS TO BENEFIT FROM TECH PARTNERSHIP

A partnership between emergency response data platform, RapidSOS, and location technology company what3words aims to provide UK emergency control rooms with life-saving emergency intelligence data.

Through the RapidSOS Platform, emergency call handlers in the UK will be able to gather health data from callers as well as their accurate what3words location. This will provide police, ambulance, and fire services with the information needed to quickly dispatch the appropriate resources to the caller in need.

The first service in the UK to test the concept will be Avon & Somerset Police ahead of a nationwide roll-out later this year. The RapidSOS platform links emergency intelligence data from connected devices directly to the UK’s emergency services. what3words has given every 3-meter square a unique identifier made of three random words, enabling any location to be communicated using just three words.


E-REFERRAL INTEGRATED INTO NHS APP

UK patients are now able to book and manage their e-RS referrals through the NHS App and to access the NHS Manage Your Referral website directly from the app.

The new functionality aims to reduce non-attendance of appointments and save GP's time when having to print and post booking instructions.

Live since October 2020, research has shown that the system has already demonstrated benefits. When patients book their own appointments, the ‘did not attend’ rate can reduce by up to half, enabling patients to be treated quickly without repeated referrals.

Martin O’Keeffe, senior clinical lead at NHS Digital said: “The NHS App currently has over 2 million verified users. With 40% of e-RS appointments currently being booked by practice staff, this provides a powerful push for primary care to introduce their patients to the benefits of the NHS App, and save themselves and the wider NHS both time and money."

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