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Driving improvement through technology

Categories:
  • Organisations we regulate

Technology in health and care services is growing in importance. Digitally-enabled care can offer significant benefits to people who use services and those who run and deliver them.

These case studies illustrate some of the developments in use and testing.

We have seen or been told about these examples of innovation in the course of our work. We share them to raise awareness and to encourage health and care services to improve.

Some use technology to do things differently and more efficiently. For example sharing care records. Others use technological innovation so people can self-monitor and take more control over their own care. Examples are apps for smart phones and tablets.

These case studies show what is possible. People can consider whether similar approaches could benefit other services.

We will use them to help consider what evidence we need to see to:

  • be sure services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led
  • improve outcomes for people

One of our strategic priorities is to encourage innovation, as we know it can drive improvements in the quality of care. We are determined that regulation does not stand in the way of digital developments. Yet using technology and innovation must never come at the expense of high-quality, person-centered care.

About these case studies

We do not endorse any particular product, supplier or service included in the case studies.

We assess the quality of care, including against our fundamental standards. Using technology as described in these case studies may help improve the quality of care. But it will not guarantee this.

The content of these case studies is subject to our website terms and conditions.

We present these case studies as a basis for discussion. They represent a small cross-section of the many innovations being put into practice. We have commented on the technology mentioned in some reports, other cases may not have featured in inspections yet.

Who should read these case studies

  • providers of health and care services - learn from the examples presented and contribute to discussion about CQC’s approach to use of innovative technology
  • CQC Inspectors - help inspectors understand how they can assess the use of technology as part of inspections
  • provider representatives/ professional bodies - engage in discussions about the way we support technological innovation and how we should consider it when inspecting
  • the public and people who use services – help us ensure you are always at the centre of technology-driven care

Automated triage technology

At the heart of this system is fixed and wearable sensors linked to a home hub. The sensors can be attached to different items, including plugs to show usage of a kettle, TVs or other electrical devices that could flag unusual behaviour patterns.
This service helps the patient or carer take vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, body weight, or oxygen levels at home. Patients also answer simple questions about their health. These answers are linked to an algorithm that flags any issues needing further attention.
GPs can send images of suspicious lesions to consultants, resulting in a speedier diagnosis and in many patients’ discharge without attending hospital.
Smartphone powered urinalysis, enables people to do regular urine tests at home and securely share results with their clinician. It tests for a range of infections, chronic illnesses and pregnancy-related complications.
This app enables pregnant women to monitor their blood pressure at home and alerts them if they need to attend hospital for further assessment.
A credit card-sized device works through an app on smart phones and tablets. It captures a near-medical grade echo cardiograph (ECG) in 30 seconds.

Digital records

Home care workers use laptops in their clients' homes to record visits and notes. These are shared with other professionals providing health and care services. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of all involved in the clients’ care and allows staff to better monitor the support and progress of clients.
This electronic patient record system shares patient records and data across the hospital, between hospitals and with primary care to promote joined-up healthcare. Patients also have access to their own records.
This service that allows care plans to be created across London, both in and out-of-hours. Records are shared digitally with GPs, community nurses, community palliative care teams, hospitals, hospices, social workers, London Ambulance Service, NHS 111 and care homes.

mHealth

This app uses real-time information about waiting times for A&E and urgent treatment centres. It is combined with current traffic and travel information and route guidance, showing patients the fastest place to access care for minor emergencies.
This platform brings together children and young people with ADHD and their families, the ADHD care team, schools, and other professionals into a secure online environment. It provides self-management resources and instant messaging, and shares information with care teams.
Home care workers use laptops in their clients' homes to record visits and notes. These are shared with other professionals providing health and care services. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of all involved in the clients’ care and allows staff to better monitor the support and progress of clients.
This occupational therapy service uses a secure web-based tool, accessed via a tablet supplied by the company that developed the system.

Telecare

At the heart of this system is fixed and wearable sensors linked to a home hub. The sensors can be attached to different items, including plugs to show usage of a kettle, TVs or other electrical devices that could flag unusual behaviour patterns.

Telemedicine

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease can use an app to communicate with their clinical team. They can also see their medical history and medication details, track and record symptoms, arrange appointments, and keep a care record on their phone.
This service helps the patient or carer take vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, body weight, or oxygen levels at home. Patients also answer simple questions about their health. These answers are linked to an algorithm that flags any issues needing further attention.

Telemonitoring

Technology Integrated Health Management for dementia is an ‘internet of things’ technology system. It uses artificial intelligence to remotely monitor the health of people with dementia living at home.
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease can use an app to communicate with their clinical team. They can also see their medical history and medication details, track and record symptoms, arrange appointments, and keep a care record on their phone.
This digital care assistant is based on an optical sensor that can monitor a service user’s movement, pulse and respiration in their bedroom.
This service helps the patient or carer take vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, body weight, or oxygen levels at home. Patients also answer simple questions about their health. These answers are linked to an algorithm that flags any issues needing further attention.
Smartphone powered urinalysis, enables people to do regular urine tests at home and securely share results with their clinician. It tests for a range of infections, chronic illnesses and pregnancy-related complications.
This app enables pregnant women to monitor their blood pressure at home and alerts them if they need to attend hospital for further assessment.

 

Last updated:
16 July 2019

 


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