The three innovative projects that have been selected for support through the programme aim to produce systems that will enhance opportunities for self-care and health management at home and in the community.
The CMFT Charitable Fund for Innovation has generously provided funding for these awards. Working with the Research and Innovation Division, TRUSTECH and MIMIT have awarded each of the three projects funding and the support of the innovation management service team at TRUSTECH to help development the successful applicants’ innovations.
Dr Sharma and his team are looking to improve the management of Vernal Kerato-conjunctivitis (VKC), a rare and severe allergic eye disorders that mainly affects 5 – 17 year old males. If not adequately managed, VKC can lead to partial sight loss or even blindness.
Currently CMFT provides a joint specialist service for children with VKC, which involves a specialist eye examination and the completion of an adapted quality of life questionnaire. Due to the questionnaire being adapted from another service it is currently inadequate at measuring quality of life for VKC patients and not age appropriate for the younger patient group.
The project proposes to develop a new interactive digital questionnaire, which will not only allow children and young people to accurately report their symptoms themselves, but will also enable patients to do it at home or outside of a clinical appointment. This means data will be more up-to-date and accurate, rather than relying on second hand information from parents.
The development of this tool will also bring cost savings and efficiency improvements to the NHS from the reduction in appointments and reduced absence from schools and work place for families.
Drs Vibha Sharma, Veronica Swallow and Mr Andrew Hall and Mr Susmito Biswas
Mr Roy and his team’s project will set out to improve physiotherapy adherence.
For physiotherapy to be effective, patients must adhere to specific service programmes to achieve recovery goals. Evidence has long shown that compliance by patients and effectiveness of physiotherapy regimes are interlinked, so it is important that patients are able to follow their programmes. Building on this there are also pressures around efficiency savings within the service, meaning a reduction in staff or resource which can also delay recovery.
To improve patient adherence in physiotherapy the team will develop a new system that utilises motion sensor based technology through software on Microsoft Kinect. By using gamification principles, the software will include targeted physiotherapy regime through specialised games to encourage adherence and play on people’s competitive nature. It is anticipated that through improved adherence to treatment patients will have a quicker recovery time through a more personalised care package.
Patients will benefit from less wasted time in waiting for appointments and clinicians will benefit from the capacity release that will allow them to treat appropriate patients.
Mr Bibhas Roy
Greater Manchester has significantly higher rates of obesity, hypertension, smoking, cancer and heart disease than the national average with life expectancy at birth the lowest in the country.
Currently, most preventative programmes to tackle obesity and hypertension focus around inactivity and healthy eating, with NHS staff being one of the biggest resources available for influencing the public on health and wellbeing.
This project aims to design and implement a technology led system where NHS staff, general public and patients can take active self-management approaches towards their wellness, as well as increase awareness and self-management techniques for the prevention of long-term diseases. This will involve using internet connected kiosks in hospitals that measure BMI, body fat and blood pressure as minimum.
It is expected that staff and the public will become more aware of their physical profile and related health risks, and will actively take action for better lifestyle management. As a consequence the project also hopes to help reduce sickness absence rates.
The foundation of this project is to gain evidence of the impact automated health measurement kiosks have in a hospital setting and what actions work better than others.
*MIMIT (Manchester: Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology) is a collaboration between The University of Manchester and Greater Manchester NHS and Primary Care Trusts and accelerates the development of new healthcare technologies, enabling technologies to reach patients faster and more effectively.