Roundup: Isle of Wight infections drop following launch of COVID-19 app, NHS Providers publish digital guide and more briefs

Also, a new study shows workers back restrictions on technology use since the rise of remote working.
By Sara Mageit
10:08 am


Membership organisation for the NHS Hospitals, NHS Providers, has published a guide to NHS digital leadership to help trust leaders build on the momentum made during COVID-19 and to support NHS boards lead their organisations through the digital transformation.

Newly published material also includes, ‘why digital transformation matters’, which has been jointly written by NHS Providers and Public Digital as part of the new Digital Boards Programme.  

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The guide is supported by Health Education England and includes a number of board-level case studies and key COVID-19 reflections and lessons from other sectors on their own digital leadership. 

The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said: "We know COVID-19 has accelerated digital ways of working across the NHS. Trusts have made huge progress in a relatively short space of time, be it rolling out virtual consultations or adapting existing approaches to support clinical reconfiguration.”


Findings commissioned by Aetna international from over 4,000 employees across the US, UK, UAE and Singapore highlight the ‘digital dilemmas’ businesses now need to manage since the rise of remote working.

The research shows that many workers would welcome the introduction of a business policy to manage technology and screen time overuse.

Over three quarters feel it would help them to manage physical health better and 65% believe it would support their mental health. According to the study, over 40% of employers did not have any guidance in place to deal with this tech overload.

Despite these concerns, there was still clear agreement from workers who took part in the survey that technology can play a positive role in improving mental and physical health. Seventy-eight per cent stated that it enabled them to manage workloads better and 74% agreed that it provided more time to exercise. 


Ireland-based provider of wearable wireless sensor products, Shimmer, has partnered with the University of South Florida to develop a wearable device to detect the progression of COVID-19 for those most at risk.

The wearable devices will track markers such as skin temperature, thoracic bioimpedance and oxygen saturation.  

Researchers have put together a study to monitor physiological conditions of 100 study participants that have tested positive for COVID-19, including people who are asymptomatic.

From this study, scientists will use machine learning and AI to find patterns within the physiological fluctuation and will develop various profiles for patient outcomes as part of an early warning system.


The Oxford University data visualitaion spin-out, Zegami, has found that there is a growing prevalence of heart disease and a favourable funding environment for cardiovascular medicine.

This will see the devices market that serves this sector grow by between 3% and 6% per annum over the next five years. 

Zegami also warned that as the cardiovascular devices market becomes more crowded and competitive, and as healthcare budgets come under greater pressure, hospitals and healthcare professional require more data and research to show their effectiveness before they agree to engage with providers.

Roger Noble, CEO and founder of Zegami said: “Medtech companies operating in the cardiovascular disease market need to place a greater focus on outcomes measurement and end-to-end evidence.  Increasingly, they need to develop partnerships for data creation, capture, sharing, and analytics of this information to provide real-world evidence (RWE) and demonstrate value beyond traditional safety and efficacy points in order persuade hospitals and healthcare centres to engage with them.”


Northamptonshire has chosen Graphnet Health to provide an integrated care record for the 700,000 people living in the county.

The new record supports Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership’s work to join up services and improve health and care for the benefit of both residents and care professionals.

Graphnet’s CareCentric software will be used to combine information between Northamptonshire’s care community, consisting of 69 GP practices, Northampton General Hospital NHS trust, Kettering General Hospital NHS FT, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS FT, Northamptonshire County Council Social Care, 111 and GP out-of-hours service providers, and East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS trust.

The shared record will be integrated into existing core IT systems used by the various NHS and local government organisations.


It was revealed this week that coronavirus infection rates dropped on the Isle of Wight following the launch of an NHS contact tracing phone app.

The app was later scrapped in a government U-turn in the aim to focus on a manual contact tracing app, with no fixed date for a potential launch.

New research shows that the Isle of Wight went from among the worst R rates in the country in April, to having one of the lowest R rates in the country after the app was launched in May.

The findings show that the app reached a higher number of potential cases and contacts than manual contact tracing.


HubRx announced its plans for an investment in a facility that will allow independent community pharmacies to benefit from ‘hub and spoke’ technologies.

As GP surgeries struggle to cope with the wave of coronavirus infections, many pharmacists have become the first port of call for patients seeking trusted health advice.

This facility will free up time for pharmacies to focus on providing both NHS and private clinical services to patients.

HubRx has signed a commercial agreement with Clanwilliam Health who provide RxWeb PMR system, a web-based Patient Medical Record (PMR) system. Both systems will be integrated to create processes that facilitate the transfer of prescriptions to the hub and then delivery back to the pharmacy.


The first Spinoff Prize has been awarded to Sibel Health, which was spun off from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois in the US. 

Sibel Health has developed a sensor system for premature babies that avoids the need for adhesive patches which can damage the babies’ skin.

The sensors are wireless which makes it possible for medical staff to perform the necessary procedures and for families to have interaction with premature infants.

The Spinoff Prize has been created by Nature Research and Merk KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and aims to provide support for entrepreneurs and their companies.

Magdalena Skipper, editor-in-chief of Nature, said: “The judges were impressed by the potential global impact that Sibel Health’s technology has, and their clear plans for scaling this up. It is especially exciting that Sibel Health’s technology is intended to be affordable in a wide range of settings, and speaks for a patient group that does not itself have a voice.”


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