Industry news in brief

This Digital Health News industry roundup includes a new online course for young people to build skills for a future career in care, a milestone for digital-first healthcare-at-home company Cera and the integration of Ibex Medical Analytics’ AI platform with Source BioScience’s pathology network.

Babyl partners with Novo Nordisk to expand diabetes care in Rwanda

A partnership between Babyl – a subsidiary of Babylon – and Novo Nordisk will help contribute to the expansion of diabetes awareness and care in Rwanda through community engagement and skills building using digital technology.

Babyl’s existing infrastructure and digital tech will be used to offer digital consultations to patients across Rwanda. Patients who then receive a confirmed diagnosis will be guided to the correct level of care by a doctor or nurse. This could include medication or a referral for further tests.

Vinay Ransiwal, vice president and general manager at Novo Nordisk Middle Africa, said: “Allowing a much wider access to care through Babyl’s long-proven digital platform, backed by specialists, offers an exciting opportunity to significantly scale up access to diabetes care and, hence, reach many more people with diabetes with the care they need.”

Babyl will also roll out a training scheme for clinicians focused on providing digital diabetes care to patients, drawing on Novo Nordisk’s expertise and best practices.

Dr Simba Calliope, medical director at Babyl, said: “Screening, managing and follow-up of diabetes in patients is a significant challenge for Rwanda’s health sector and digitisation could be a game changer.

“We are so excited about this cutting-edge partnership with Novo Nordisk that allows Babyl to strengthen our offering to patients and raise awareness of diabetes.”

Florence launches Pathway to Care programme to tackle skills shortage

Florence has launched a new training programme for school-leavers, so they can start learning key skills and experience ahead of starting a Care Certificate or nursing degree.

The company, which uses technology to help tackle staff shortages, has designed the online course to help set young people up for a rewarding career in the care industry.

Aimed at those aged 16-19, the course is easily accessible and allows learners to progress at their own pace. There are 11 modules guiding learners through the basics of adult social care, with a certificate awarded on completion.

Dr Charles Armitage, founder of Florence, said: “Our Pathway to Care course is designed to help solve the demand problem, by introducing a career in care to a wider, younger audience, with accessible, online content.”

He continued: “The pathway to care program starts to solve the long-term problems that the health and social care industry is facing. It takes years to effectively train healthcare professionals, we need to plan effectively, and we need long-term solutions to the growing vacancy rate and wait times, this programme does that.”

Cera celebrates its 6th birthday and 30 million at-home care visits to date

Europe’s largest provider of digital-first healthcare-at-home is celebrating its 6th birthday. Since its 2016 launch it has also reached another milestone: 30 million at-home care visits.

The company has over 300 contracts with the NHS and local authorities and delivers more than 50,000 care visits daily. This gives it the equivalent capacity to 50 NHS hospitals, helping to relieve pressure on the wider health service sector.

Cera’s tech-powered model works by collecting patient symptoms and health data during at-home appointments. Data analytics then use this information to predict deterioration in conditions so that health interventions can be made earlier.

Dr Ben Maruthappu, CEO and co-founder of Cera, said: “It has been a whirlwind six years since we founded Cera and we are so proud to see how far we’ve come and all that we’ve achieved.”

He continued: “Delivering the best possible care for our patients has always been our top priority, and we are delighted to announce today that we have hit the 30 million visits milestone.

“All of this has been made possible by the hard work and dedication of our staff, so a huge thank you to each and every member of the Cera family. We’re excited to see what the future holds.”

This year also saw Cera secure the UK’s largest health tech fundraise in 2022 of $320m.

eConsult streamlines digital triage with imageHOLDERS kiosks

eConsult has worked with imageHOLDERS to develop a range of kiosk solutions that can help to streamline digital triage and check-in at healthcare settings.

The self-service kiosks provide a ‘digital front door to healthcare’ at GP surgeries and emergency care departments in the UK.

Intelligent software helps to identify a patient’s priority level and personalise the care they receive. In emergency care settings, eConsult’s check-in platform uses a comprehensive and itemised algorithm to predict patient outcomes based on their symptoms and/or level of injury.

The software is helping to speed up the initial personal assessment process for patients. It is also reducing the need for patients to repeat the reason for their visit and helping clinicians to prioritise patients.

Jon Ellis, ImageHOLDERS senior account manager, said: “(eConsult’s) clinical background means they not only care about the patient experience but know how to make it flow efficiently. They have helped shape our hardware offering using knowledge that can only be gained by having been on the frontline of healthcare provision.

“Given our reliance on the healthcare services in the UK, over the last few years in particular, it feels great to be part of creating a solution that will genuinely help both staff and patients. I look forward to getting more hospitals using the solution.”

The kiosks are currently in use at 3,200 GP surgeries and nine Urgent and Emergency Care centres.

Ibex’s AI platform to be integrated to Source BioScience pathology network

Ibex Medical Analytics’ AI platform, Galen, is to be integrated into the entire pathology network at Source BioScience, supporting pathologists at NHS trusts with enhanced diagnostic accuracy and efficiency.

Under the partnership new AI-powered tools for diagnosing multiple tissue types will be deployed. It will help to ease pressure on NHS pathology services and allow patients to receive quicker diagnoses.

Dr. Alistair Robson, medical director of Source LDPath, said: “I have seen first-hand how transformative and impactful AI-powered tools can be for a pathologist’s work.

“I am encouraged by the continued rollout of Ibex AI across UK hospital trusts and am looking forward to seeing Ibex’s newly announced biomarker scoring tools helping breast pathologists improve diagnosis of IHC stained slides.”

Within the Source network, Ibex’s AI-powered workflows will integrate into an in-house developed LIS and reporting system.

Stuart Shand, Ibex medical analytics chief commercial officer, added: “We are thrilled to expand the deployment of our innovative AI technology, already used in routine clinical practice in the UK, into additional NHS trusts.

“It is exciting to see our Galen platform become available to many more pathology services through our partnership with Source, empowering pathologists who face unprecedented case-loads and helping oncologists improve care for cancer patients.”