A device that spots the early signs of sepsis in hospital patients is among a number of new NHS innovations chosen for national backing in order to save lives and improve treatment.
RespiraSense is a wireless device that measures breathing through chest and abdomen movements delivering highly accurate, continuous data.
“Practical innovations like these show how NHS patients will now directly benefit”
As a result, this aids the early detection and more effective treatment of conditions, such as sepsis and pneumonia, as well as cardiac arrest.
The wireless sensor is one of 11 projects being being backed in the latest round of an NHS England programme to spread pioneering ideas, equipment and technology across the health service.
Others include a smartphone app that direct patients with minor injuries to treatment units with the shortest queues. The WaitLess app uses real time waiting times and traffic/travel information.
Another app chosen for the scheme – called Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy (HaMpton) – helps pregnant women at risk of pre-eclampsia to monitor for hypertension.
The app allows women to input blood pressure readings and urine test results, then answer a set of questions. It also links with hospital systems so the data can be monitored by clinicians in real time.
“We look forward to working over the coming months to deliver these innovations at scale across the country”
Another app, called Dip.io, provides rapid and clinically accurate urine analysis from home, helping to identify chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infections and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.
Patients perform a dipstick test at home and then, using the app, take a picture of the dipstick against a special backing. The analysis is then sent directly to the patient’s GP for diagnosis.
The projects form the third round of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme, which is run by NHS England.
The NIA initiative is delivered in partnership with the country’s 15 NHS Academic Health Science Networks, which will now promote the adoption of the innovations across the health service.
The aim is to provide those behind the projects with a package of tailored support – including access to a bursary fund totalling £220,000 and expert mentoring – to help their ideas “gain uptake across the NHS”.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Modern medicine is on the cusp of a huge shift in how care is delivered, and practical innovations like these show how NHS patients will now directly benefit.”
Mike Hannay, chair of the NHS AHSN Network, said: “We remain committed to supporting the NIA to ensure that as many residents, patients and staff as possible can access these innovations, which support primary care and urgent and emergency care needs.
“We look forward to working with the new fellows over the coming months to deliver these innovations at scale across the country,” he said.
The first two rounds of the NIA has helped to introduce a range of innovations to the NHS including new-generation episiotomy scissors that greatly reduce the incidence of obstetric injuries.
In addition, around 350 patients in Norfolk are benefitting from use of new ventilation tubes that reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia and a number of trusts are piloting a device in critical care that prevents the accidental injection of intravenous drugs into arterial lines.
The 2017 innovations, which will be launched at an event on 22 November, are: