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Company 20.04.18 

Innovative New Technology Could Prevent up to 35,000 Patients Undergoing Invasive Heart Tests Every Year

Innovative New NHS Technology

The NHS are fast-tracking several innovative new technologies including a new image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the heart to prevent the need for 35,000 invasive tests.  In addition, a surgical suture that may reduce the risk of infections like MRSA will join the NHS to help patients benefit from world leading innovations.

Furthermore, a new type of ‘bowel scope’ and a device that cuts infections caused by catheters complete the four innovations that will be fast-tracked into use through the NHS Innovation and Technology Payment programme.  The Innovation and Technology Payment programme delivers improvements in patient care by cutting administration for clinicians and other innovators and encouraging uptake through the NHS.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “From the very beginning the NHS has been at the forefront of driving innovation, as we celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday the NHS continues to champion innovation.  These technologies will improve patient safety and potentially reduce the need for invasive and expensive tests.”

What are the New Technologies?

HeartFlow – Advanced image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyses the impact that blockages have on blood flow to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The use of the device can avoid the need for invasive investigations such as coronary angiography, usually carried out under local anaesthetic, where a catheter is passed through the blood vessels to the heart to release a dye before X-rays are taken. NICE estimate up to 35,000 people per year could be eligible.

Plus Sutures – A new type of surgical suture – stitching – that reduces the rate of surgery-linked infection (surgical site infection) such as MRSA, through the use of antimicrobial suture packs. There were 823 cases of MRSA reported in the NHS in 2016/17.

Endocuff Vision – A new type of ‘bowel scope’ that improves colorectal examination for patients undergoing bowel cancer tests. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in England with 34,000 people diagnosed each year. For every 1,000 people screened for cancer, it is estimated that six cases could be avoided thanks to early detection through the use of this device.

SecurAcath – A device to secure catheters that reduces the infection risk for patients with a peripherally inserted central catheter. The use of this equipment helps to reduce the time taken to care and treat dressing changes. This type of catheter is normally used in people needing intravenous access for several weeks or months in both inpatient and outpatient settings. NICE estimate up to 120,000 people per year could be eligible.

This is the second year of the drive to identify and fast track specific innovations into the NHS, which has already benefitted 75,000 patients.

The NHS’ own innovation agencies – the 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England – will take direct responsibility for accelerating uptake locally.

Tackling Missed NHS Appointments

To tackle the problem of missed hospital appointments, NHS England will also introduce DrDoctor, a digital tool to help patients view, change and schedule appointments, to demonstrate its potential in a real-world setting.

Almost eight million hospital appointments were missed in 2016/17, as reported by NHS Digital. This figure does not include appointments cancelled in advance by either the hospital or the patient. With each hospital outpatient appointment costing the NHS approximately £120 in 2016/17, that means almost £1 billion worth of appointments were missed, equivalent to 257,000 hip replacements or 990,000 cataract operations.

DrDoctor isn’t the first company to use an online system to relieve some burden from the NHS.  RXLive, is an online pharmacy that delivers prescriptions to patients completely free of charge to reduce waiting times and the cost of travelling to collect medication.

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