Roundup: Touch free entry range to help NHS return to normal, study on VR training for care workers and more briefs

Also, new King’s College and Mindwave Ventures app will allow people to track substance use and recovery.
By Sara Mageit
10:30 am
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Credit: Virti VR headset 

VR TRAINING FOR CARE WORKERS IMPROVES INFECTION CONTROL

A study carried out as part of the government funded TechForce19 challenge has shown that when carers receive training via immersive digital technology, including VR, it can improve understanding of infection control measures by 76% and knowledge retention of health and safety guidelines by 230%.

As part of a randomised control interventional study, carers were provided with training on hand washing, donning and doffing PPE, and responding to an unresponsive patient. Half the group received their training via bespoke simulations provided by tech start-up Virti, accessed via their smartphones.

On average, the carers training with the immersive technology saw an increase in performance from pre to post-training knowledge test of 230.1%. This was compared to 16.75% for the control group.

The carers in the intervention group also reported lower levels of anxiety in relation to handling COVID-19 scenarios. 

The lockdown period has presented issues around loss of productivity and absenteeism due to COVID-infection and stress. These findings estimated savings of £142 million and £48 million per year respectively with an uptake of 5% of the total carer population.

MEDDY LAUNCHES NEW TELEMEDICINE PRODUCT

Qatar and UAE-based doctor booking platform, Meddy.com has introduced a platform where patients can virtually carry out their appointments over video calls and receive consultations from home. 

The video call platform includes a range of telemedicine options with over 200 doctors from 15+ specialisations who speak 12 different languages available for video-visits in Qatar and UAE.

This platform is built to uphold patient confidentiality and provide security to both the doctors and the patients. The audio and video calls are fully encrypted. The call is built on a peer to peer connection and is not routed through any server or third party.

“The aim of our product is to let doctors remotely diagnose, evaluate and treat their patients in a simple, and secure manner,” says Haris Aghadi, founder & CEO of Meddy.

“Similarly, for the patients, the tool acts as a virtual bridge between them and their doctors. It allows them to receive top-notch care from the comfort of their homes.”

NEW TOUCH FREE ENTRY RANGE TO HELP NHS RETURN TO NORMAL

Videx has designed a touch free entry range to help the NHS in opening up specific services and treatments again as the UK continues in its efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

The range includes both exit buttons and entrance panels in a touch free format using infrared sensor technology, providing a no touch options for hospitals as they focus on creating a COVID-19 secure environment for their employees, patients and visitors.

Visitors will be able to alert someone of their arrival without needing to press a button. The panels can also include proximity access control, allowing authorised personnel to enter the hospitals and GP surgeries, touch free. Both surface and flush exit buttons are also available to allow users to exit without the need to press buttons.

ONE MILLION COUGHS TO HELP WITH COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS

Founded by Oxford and Cambridge researchers, health startup, Novoic are launching the Novoic COVID app and asking one million volunteers to ‘donate their cough’ so they can reliably differentiate between the sound of COVID-19 infected patients and those without the virus.

Many public health experts believe the best way of containing the virus is by testing, tracing contacts and isolating patients if necessary, which will require large scale screening. Novoic believe that the app could be rolled-out as early as August if they get enough data. 

Emil Fristed, co-founder and CEO of Novoic, says: “When the respiratory system is affected by a disease, it can change the sound of your breathing, coughing and vocal quality. Using sound analysis these changes can be measured. We already know that other respiratory conditions can be detected from cough patterns. COVID-19 affects the respiratory system in a unique way. So, it’s likely that the cough patterns are unique too.”

Novoic is being accelerated at the Oxford Foundry, an entrepreneurship centre at the University of Oxford, through their L.E.V8 accelerator and COVID-19 Action Plan.

EGE UNIVERSITY JOINS CLINERION’S PATIENT NETWORK EXPLORER PLATFORM

Turkey-based, Ege University Medical Faculty Hospital will bring its patients earlier access to treatments and medications by joining the international hospital network on Clinerion’s Patient Network Explorer platform.

On the platform, the university hospital’s patients are brought to the attention of researchers and trial sponsors who are recruiting for clinical trials.

“Clinerion provides a way for us to use our own patient data more efficiently,” says Dr Ersin Koylu, project leader. “This will bring more clinical trials to the university and it will make the clinical trial process easier for our competent researchers.”

Ian Rentsch, CEO of Clinerion said: “Our strong coverage of the country makes the country itself more attractive to Pharma sponsors and CROs using Patient Network Explorer who are looking to set up trials in the country, as well as offering more statistically meaningful data to researchers.”

APP TO TRACK SUBSTANCE USE AND RECOVERY

Researchers from the Addictions Department at King’s College London have collaborated with people in recovery from alcohol and drug problems and health tech specialist, Mindwave Ventures to create the SURE Recovery app, a self-monitoring tool which helps people with addictions to evaluate how they are coping.

The app allows people to track their recovery and monitor progress across key areas of wellbeing. The app will be of use for those who have been struggling during the lockdown period, as many services and centres are temporarily shut due to the pandemic.

It will allow users to track all elements of recovery including drinking and drug use, self-care, relationships and material resources. Information on sleep as well as how to recognise and treat an opioid overdose with naloxone are also provided.

Dr Victoria Betton, CInO at Mindwave Ventures said: “Looking after your mental and physical health during these uncertain times is so important, especially if you have previously used substances or are in treatment or recovery. With many people unable to access their normal services, it is important that digital alternatives are made available to help people through their recovery journey.”

The Sure Recovery app is available to download on iOS and Android.

PRIVATE DOCTORS SWITCH TO ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTIONS

A new digital prescription service is enabling doctors in private practice across the UK to rapidly transition to paperless prescribing, supporting the switch to virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Developed specifically to help the private medical sector move to digital prescribing, the electronic prescribing system’s launch was fast-tracked in March. Now hundreds of private clinics are using it for patients unable to attend consultations in person.

Although it is well established in the NHS, according to NHS Digital, private clinicians do not have access to the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), used by 96% of NHS GPs and more than 99% of NHS pharmacists, which peaked in use during the pandemic.

The release of CloudRx means private clinicians across the UK can now digitally sign prescriptions rather than issuing them on paper, with medication delivered to patients at home.

LTE/4G CONNECTED CARE PLATFORM COMES TO THE UK

Essence SmartCare has announced their partnership with Appello, one of the UK’s leading Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS). The partnership will bring advanced digital LTE/4G connected care platform currently available to the UK. 

Guided by feedback from distribution channels and partners, as well as involvement in the UK telecare ecosystem, the team at Essence SmartCare have created a set of tools designed to meet the needs of the UK market. The timing for this launch coincides with the growing need to upgrade monitoring solutions post COVID-19, having been in development since before the pandemic.

The platform set includes multiple communication channels in one hub, such as 4G, 3G, 2G, and ethernet. It includes a selection of advanced digital telecare functionality, such as, Care @ Home Communicator, that allows elderly to get help anywhere in the home just by using their voice; activity monitoring, which learns the regular behaviour patterns of residents, alerting care gives when abnormal patterns occur; as well as, fall detection and outdoor monitoring.

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