North West Coast Academic Health Science Network collaborations drive healthcare innovation

Network partners with more than 15 regional companies to support adoption of innovative products into the healthcare market

The uMotif post-operative care remote monitoring app is one of the innovations supported by the North West Coast Academic Health Network

The North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN) is celebrating successful collaborations with a number of innovative technology firms which are supporting NHS trusts across the region to implement new technology, systems and products.

The NWC AHSN is one of 15 academic health science networks in England and endeavours to enable innovative products to spread quickly and successfully through the healthcare system. It supports would-be suppliers with practical and strategic advice and support as they look to tap into the market.

"The network, which marked its first year of operation in December, has partnered with more than 15 local companies in the last 12 months. Recent collaborations include med-tech companies uMotif, AliveCor and EasySHARE. The NWC AHSN has helped to support the implementation of the companies’ products into the region’s healthcare system.

"Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the network, said: “We’re very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with and support such innovative, game-changing companies in developing and implementing their products in hospitals in the region.

"We’re already seeing the benefits that this technology is bringing to the trusts where it is being taken up and used, which is very encouraging.

The North West Coast AHSN has now collaborated with, or supported, a number of healthcare technology companies

“Driving forward and supporting the spread of innovative products and systems is a key element of the network’s remit.

"The North West Coast AHSN has now collaborated with, or supported, a number of healthcare technology companies. The rollout of technology,which improves the efficiency of our systems and the quality of care being offered to people is vital to increasing the effectiveness of healthcare services and ensuring the very best care possible.”

The North West Coast AHSN supported the rollout of a pilot project for EasySHARE - a remote monitoring system for people with diabetes who are due to undergo major surgery. The project was introduced at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital earlier this year. The EasySHARE innovation has been developed by Healthimo Limited, based in Warrington, and the system is now starting to be implemented at the trust.

EasySHARE has already supported thousands of patients, predominantly in pregnancy and paediatrics, across the region. The modem is located in each patient’s home and transmits blood glucose readings to clinicians every day. This simple assistive innovation is not reliant upon any other technology and is easy to use, safe and effective. Clinicians receive accurate readings in real time, which greatly enhances both patient safety and the patient experience. Further development work with EasySHARE is also being proposed to support patients following major surgery.

The rollout of technology,which improves the efficiency of our systems and the quality of care being offered to people is vital to increasing the effectiveness of healthcare services and ensuring the very best care possible

The network has also supported the creation of a post-operative care remote monitoring app which is now being used at trusts across the North West. The app, created by software developer, uMotif, is being used to help people who have recently undergone operations for cancer or heart failure. It helps physicians to keep track of patient’s progress after surgery and ensure they are managing their conditions and experiencing effective rehabilitation. NWC AHSN is working alongside uMotif Lancashire Teaching Hospital and other hospitals to further develop the app for specific patient groups.

And the organisation is implementing the rollout of a new hand-held ECG device, the AliveCor Heart Monitor, which allows people to monitor their heart rhythm and detect atrial fibrillation, which is a major cause of stroke.

The product is being distributed by NWC AHSN to GPs across the Southport and Formby area as part of the network’s Reduction of Stroke and Identification of Atrial Fibrillation campaign. Fifteen practices have signed up to the six-month project, which will help increase the number of times AF is identified and allow evaluation of the technology for future rollout.

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