Spirit Health Group have three divisions aiming to make health easy – Medicines Optimisation (improving quality and reducing expenditure on medicines), Clinical Services (proactive primary care and education services) and Digital (Remote Monitoring with CliniTouch Vie).
CliniTouch Vie is our digital solution which combines remote monitoring, patient education and patient self-management to create a 24/7 accessible virtual clinic within a mobile device and all at home.
Patients are allocated a set of questions which is dependent on their condition (and can be adjusted to the individual) which they answer on a regular basis. The recorded data is fed through a unique algorithm to risk score and prioritise patient care, and this is presented on a dashboard to a clinician. Clinical teams then work through their task list, focusing care on those within their caseload who most need it. Patients can access education material, and can receive messages, calls, or video calls from their clinician.
It is like healthcare as we know it, but more proactive.
Working with the health and care system
We have a good adoption of our CliniTouch Vie solution across the country, however, as I’m sure any industry colleague would agree it can be a long process from that first instance of a decision maker believing in your solution and the impact it can have, to it being implemented and used by their patients – it can take years, not months.
As you would expect, there has been a completely different feeling within the health and care system over the last six months. From an industry/supplier perspective, the biggest change we have noticed has been everyone pulling in the same direction. This has enabled rapid deployment of solutions that have always made sense, but have never quite made it to the top of the agenda.
Absolute alignment of the agenda during the pandemic has been key – it is amazing what the NHS can deliver when it sets it mind to it. There has been an eagerness to adopt new technology overcoming a previous fear of this same technology – with the risk vs reward balance now signalling to proceed.
Supporting the system response to COVID-19
CliniTouch Vie has been recognised as a digital solution that can help the system response to COVID-19. It is being used by clinical teams to support an increasing number of patients with long term conditions throughout the UK.
The solution helps release hospital beds and increase capacity in specialist community teams managing vulnerable patients from the safety and comfort of their own homes. We have seen a rapid adoption of our product during the pandemic, which increased from hundreds of patients (nationally and internationally) being supported within CliniTouch to thousands.
Example of rapid adoption during COVID-19
In one trust in the East Midlands, prior to the pandemic, we were piloting CliniTouch Vie with acute patients. They saw the potential of the technology to monitor patients at home, track deterioration, support self-management and reduce visits by using video calls when appropriate.
The truth is the trust loved the concept, but it was a low priority…and then COVID-19 landed.
A project that was taking months to discuss even the early stages was implemented within three weeks. The trust commissioned CliniTouch Vie for up to 1,000 patients meaning they were able to on-board their existing community caseloads and accelerate hospital discharges.
The solution meant that the team felt more confident that these vulnerable patients were safer at home and could be monitored around the clock for any signs of deterioration. It also helped the clinical team to prioritise patients and therefore enable them to be more efficient with their increasing workload.
This is a real benefit of being an SME, we were able to be nimble and agile helping support the system response to COVID-19 at a fast pace.
Locking in positive progress made during the pandemic
Something I am keen to understand is, how we align people on the same agenda to deliver important programs of work at times other than a pandemic. Alignment seems to have made the most impact so how do we recreate that?
We have made some great progress towards proactive digital care, it is pivotal that we lock that in. We need to work towards remote and virtual consultations becoming part of normal care – not a pilot service within ‘business as usual’.
Technology is brilliant with amazing potential – we need evidence from each service and innovation to show this. Innovators, industry and the NHS need to provide evidence to demonstrate the value of using technology and this will help us move forward towards an NHS that is more accepting of digital as the norm.
The healthcare landscape has changed forever. Technology is here, it is evolving and we need to embrace it as part of the normal healthcare landscape. We need to work with healthcare professionals and commissioners to ensure that these advancements are regarded as part of normal care and not ‘digital healthcare’ only.
It has been a real privilege to be supporting the NHS during COVID-19 and we are proud to be able to supply products that make a difference, which are directly impacting patient care. I truly hope that we are able to use this momentum and culture change within the NHS and sustain it to bring about a lasting move towards considering digital as part of day-to-day care.