Roundup: Latvia's COVID-19 app connects to EU interoperability system, Scottish government funds med-tech first response and more briefs

Also, app launches to help NHS prevent deadly hospital illnesses that complicate COVID-19 cases.
By Sara Mageit
05:29 am
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Contact tracing, COVID-19

Credit: Compass app to help NHS prevent hospital illnesses 

LATVIA'S COVID-19 APP CONNECTS TO EU'S INTEROPERABILITY SYSTEM

Latvia's contact tracing app, Apturi Covid (Stop Covid) has connected to the interoperability system for other contact tracing apps in the European Commission.

This will allow the Apturi Covid app to warn and notify a user if they have come into contact with an COVID-19 infected person when in Germany, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

The European Commission's solution enabled interoperability of EU member states' contact tracing apps last month.

Smartphones with the app will be able to exchange "digital handshakes" via Bluetooth, which is encrypted on the user's phone.

MYONLINETHERAPY PARTNERS WITH VITALITY

UK virtual psychology clinic, My OnlineTherapy, has announced a new partnership with life insurance company, Vitality, to develop the mental health support available to its health members.

The service, which went live this month, provides members with mental health treatments such as, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, and Schema Therapy from qualified psychologists, which is provided digitally through a video conferencing service.

Dr Keith Klintworth, group COO and managing director, VitalityHealth said: “With the pandemic changing life as we know it, there has never been a more important time to look after our mental health, and offering our members the right support in an accessible way is a priority for us.

“By partnering with My Online Therapy, Vitality is further extending our full package of mental health care available to our members, ensuring people are able to get the support and help when they need it.”

APP TO HELP NHS PREVENT HOSPITAL ILLNESSES AMID COVID-19

NHS trusts are being offered an app aimed at reducing hundreds of deaths that are linked to two hospital-acquired conditions - acute kidney injury (AKI) and pneumonia (HAP).

Known as Compass, the mobile app provides NHS clinical staff with a tool for assessing a patient’s risk of developing the conditions in hospital, so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent significant numbers of AKI and HAP cases and reduce admissions to intensive care.

A study by researchers at University Hospital Southampton NHS FT, carried out between March and May this year, found that AKI was present in 31% COVID-19 hospital patients, and that AKI was associated with 27% of admissions to ICU.

The app is approved by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and is being offered to NHS hospitals free of charge for the first 90 days of use, in an effort to support hospitals in the second wave of COVID-19.

 

L'OREAL SIGNS LICENSE AGREEMENT WITH BIOTECH COMPANY

Netherlands-based phage and endolysin technology development company, Micreos, and L'Oréal have announced the signature of a license agreement to join their expertise in biotechnology and the skin microbiome, the community of bacteria and microorganisms that live on the skin.

Under the terms of the agreement, Micreos will give L'Oréal access to its endolysin, a type of active protein in the cosmetic field. With this technology, it will be able to target unwanted bacteria in the skin flora which are responsible for various skin problems.

Micreos CEO Mark Offerhaus: "We expect this partnership to be ground-breaking. L'Oréal has been a leader in skincare for decades. Micreos is at the forefront of targeted bacterial biotechnology. We pair our strengths and millions stand to benefit."

HOSPITALS ADOPT COVID-19 TECH TO KEEP STAFF SAFE

A new digital tool is being rolled out to NHS trusts across the UK to strengthen protection for temporary staff at high risk from COVID-19. 

To help hospitals adhere to new NHS guidelines around staff risk assessments, a digital solution has been built by Patchwork Health. This system allows management teams to digitise the risk profiles of their staff and operate a confidential live dashboard which shows if and when high risk staff are due to work on higher risk wards. 

The technology replaces the process of relying on spreadsheets to monitor risk factors. NHS staffing management will be able to ensure the shifts booked by those with known risk factors can be monitored in real time and alternative shifts for high-risk staff can be arranged. 

MENTAL HEALTH NHS TRUST IMPLEMENTS NEW PATIENT FLOW WITH SERVELEC

Servelec, a provider of digital care software, announces that South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust, which serves people across five London boroughs, has gone live with an implementation of its patient management solution, Flow.  

The product has replaced the trust’s existing patient management processes, which involved manually calling hospitals for updates on bed availability, handwritten notes on whiteboards, and then entering it into the Electronic Patient Record (EPR).

Servelec’s patient flow solution digitises this process offering an end-to-end view of the patient journey. Staff at the trust can enter information onto a digital touchscreen which displays information about all patients in the hospital wards, including status and location.

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS trust is an existing user of Servelec’s Rio EPR software, which integrates with Flow.

WEARABLE MEDICAL DEVICE TO DIAGNOSE SLEAP APNOEA

Medical device company, Acurable, has announced the launch of its first product, AcuPebble SA100, a wearable device which enables an automated and remote diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

The diagnosis of OSA traditionally requires hospital visits for patients, and doctors have had to manually review and analyse data from a patient’s sleep study.

AcuPebble SA100 aims to automate this process, providing a clinically validated diagnosis equivalent to the current ambulatory gold standard. This is particularly important in light of COVID-19 and the NHS move to digital first and remote consultations.

AcuPebble SA100 gained CE Mark approval in September 2020.

HULL UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS TRUST DEPLOYS DXC TECH

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS trust has deployed DXC Technology’s cloud-based Clinical Aide mobile app. The platform improves secure access to electronic patient medical records and increases patient and hospital staff safety in COVID-19 wards and intensive care units.

By using a cloud-based mobile app that sits on top of the trust’s electronic patient record (EPR) system, clinical teams can now securely view and use patient information from the Lorenzo EPR, part of the DXC Care Suite, via a tablet or other mobile device.

Mobile access to a patient’s documented information aims to reduce the need for staff to enter higher-risk hospital areas to review and update medical records directly on workstations and also removes the need to transfer paper-based detailed patient information out of the hospital’s COVID-19 wards.

IKTOS COLLABORATES WITH MERCK ON NEW DRUG DESIGN

AI drug design company Iktos, has announced an additional collaboration agreement in AI for new drug design with Germany-based Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, a leading science and technology company.

In this new collaboration, Iktos’ new generative design technology will be used to facilitate the design of an undisclosed Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany drug discovery program.

Iktos’ generative AI technology will be combined with structure-based modelling, with an iterative design of structures maximizing protein-ligand interaction and enabling identification of novel structures already explored in the project.

Joern-Peter Halle, global head of research for the healthcare business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany said: "AI has the potential to improve and accelerate the drug discovery process, which could mean faster access to novel treatment options for patients.”

“This additional collaboration with Iktos illustrates our commitment to partnerships to access the latest technology to enrich our discovery engine.”

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT GIVES FUNDING BOOST TO MED-TECH INNOVATION

MIME Technologies, a med-tech spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, has received £248K in funding from the Scottish Government to help deliver technology that will drive new maritime med-tech solutions. 

It will also support the heavily impacted aviation industry during its recovery from the pandemic.

The firm develops technology that supports non-medical professionals during first response situations in environments that are remote from immediate medical care.

Initially focused on the aviation industry, MIME Technologies’ solution communicates on-scene emergency data, such as the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, to professional medical services using secure cloud technology. 

Allowing aviation medical providers to see this on-scene data ensures they can make informed decisions about the passenger’s need for medical attention, supporting inflight diversion decisions and ensuring handover into medical care.
 

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