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Learnings from NHS #MediDigi Hack event in UK

Strikersoft participated in #MediDigi Hack event organised in partnership between the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre in Cornwall and the National Health Service (NHS) on 16th November 2016.

NHS staff from service development and improvements, clinical technology and IT, communication and finance as well nurses and doctors were present together with Universities and private enterprises.

Possibilities with IT in healthcare

"In this and other meetings organized perfectly by Invest in Cornwall, we saw a willingness by everyone to embrace the possibilities given by utilizing IT in healthcare," says Tim Bray, VP Sales at Strikersoft. "In the Hack event I was further amazed by the diversity of the NHS people present and the eagerness of everyone from IT departments to doctors and nurses to engage and innovate.

eHealth at Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre Cornwall


Patient and asset tracking

The main challenges facing healthcare are very similar in UK and in the Nordics e.g. to improve process efficiency, reduce variations in treatment and getting a more patient centric care, but other issues were also highlighted.

"Another area in eHealth that was heavily discussed was patient and asset tracking. Just knowing where all the equipment is located, or dislocated, in a big hospital can be a real nightmare. It is not uncommon that the sheer amount of equipment purchased is 10-20% higher than needed because staff cannot find, or don’t have time to search for dislocated equipment."

Patient flow

Another important area is patient flow, tracking a patient throughout the whole stay at the hospital, e.g. from A&E to ward or discharge. First it is about locating the patients, irrespective if they are walking, in a wheelchair or in a hospital bed. Then there is the other way around, telling the patient where they need to go next and how to get there. Everything monitored real-time. Adding an automatic escalation system improving patient safety even further.

"When e.g. an elderly patient is walking away from the ward, or a blood sample hasn’t turned up on time, the automatic escalation process will trigger an alarm and appropriate action can be taken. Location of staff was another important area that was discussed in several groups," continues Tim Bray. "For lone workers, e.g. district nurses or emergency staff an automatic tracking and escalation system would add a highly appreciated extra level of security."

eHealth at Health Innovation Centre Cornwall


Own information sources

Communication to the public in heath matters were another topic during the event. Traditional channels for communication do not work so well anymore. Experiences shared from the sexual health department as well as surgery shows that patients find their own information sources on the web, or just deliberately avoid the official healthcare channels

"We need to utilize the mechanisms of the new communication channels,” says Ulf Lesley, Marketing and Communication manager at Strikersoft, “and better understand where we find our target groups. A process development work even within communication. There were some very interesting discussions around gamification, with Pokémon GO type of games that include Augmented Reality, AR, to the kids and more crossword mechanisms for the elderly. A number of people also raised the potential of Virtual Reality, VR, and it will be interesting to catch up on their progress at the next #MediDigi Hack.”