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A wound assessment app that scans wounds and shares images with tissue viability nurses and district nurses for further assessment is among a range of technology receiving funding in Wales.
Five digital health initiatives have been awarded funding as part of a £150,000 “call to action” for new and innovative ways to use digital technology in response to coronavirus and “beyond”.
“By making routine wound monitoring digital, we help already-burdened healthcare professionals make better clinical decisions”
Ministers said the funding would help support the rapid piloting and evaluation of the chosen digital platforms, apps and technologies in order to determine their long-term use and potential.
Technology developers were invited to apply for the funding from the Digital Solutions Fund, with rapid piloting of the winners expected to report back results later in the summer.
The winning initiatives were picked by a panel that included representatives from the NHS, Welsh Government and industry, with responses co-ordinated by Digital Health Ecosystem Wales.
Among those chosen was SPOT, which was developed by Healthy.IO. The wound assessment app enables image capturing and semi-automatic in-app measurements via a smartphone camera.
The system aims to scan wounds with a dedicated app, the images are then normalised and shared on a secure digital portal which can be viewed by tissue viability nurses, district nurses and GPs.
Health professionals can add and share relevant information, for example, infection symptoms and pain level, to provide wound assessment and documentation in line with best practice guidelines.
“Innovative solutions such as these platforms can support our health services to be delivered in a different but safe way”
The tool allows tissue viability nurses and wound specialists to remotely scrutinise wounds, according to its developers.
Katherine Ward, chief commercial officer and managing director for UK and Europe at Healthy.io, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Welsh government by providing our digital wound management solution to NHS Wales.
“By making routine wound monitoring digital, we help already-burdened healthcare professionals make better clinical decisions and support patients in having their care managed closer to home.”
The other four winners include Spirit Digital’s CliniTouch Vie, which provides a platform for patient monitoring and supporting the management of Covid-19 patients in the community post-discharge.
It collects quantitative biometric data inputs coupled to self-reported health and wellbeing scores and connects remote healthcare teams to patients, helping them decide who needs their care first.
Another is Medopad, developed by Huma Therapeutics, a real-time remote patient monitoring system that allows symptomatic patients to remain home rather than be admitted to hospital.
Meanwhile, MedTRiM is an app that should enable support for those exposed to trauma in the workplace can be accessed digitally. It is a currently a face-to-face service within NHS Wales.
The new project will develop a “fully interactive course” available online for staff, according to the government.
The app is described as addressing the legal, moral and ethical duty of care of the organisation by providing pre- and post-exposure support with minimal disruption.
Also on the list is PhysioNow, which its developers describe as a physiotherapy chat-bot providing 24/7 triage and support for musculoskeletal conditions.
Welsh health and social services minister Vaughan Gething said: “As we work towards a ‘new normal’, innovative solutions such as these platforms can support our health services to be delivered in a different but safe way.
“Today’s winners are beginning a fantastic opportunity to test and develop technologies which offer the largest impact and best value solutions for a variety of health-related issues, for staff and patients.”
Helen Northmore, manager of the Digital Health Ecosystem Wales programme, a collaboration between Life Sciences Hub Wales and the NHS Wales Informatics Service, added: “We were impressed with the breadth and quality of applications to the Digital Solutions Fund.
“The projects selected demonstrated how digital solutions can give people tools to help them manage their condition and their wellbeing in their home or work environment. I am excited to see the results from the rapid pilots later this summer.”