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New digital health products developed at the IBME to be commercialised by Drayson Technologies

Three new digital health products, developed in Professor Tarassenko’s research group at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering in collaboration with clinical colleagues in the Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust over the past seven years, promise significant improvements in patient health outcomes and reduced costs for the NHS.

The three new digital health products are:

SEND: a system for vital-sign observations in hospital patients (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation and temperature) and risk score estimation, which has enhanced the clinical care of over 80,000 patients over the past two years. As well as improving individual patient care, the SEND system allows information about patients to be shared between different wards. This ensures quicker decision-making and allows cross-linking with other patient data. On many wards, patients are now prioritised during the ward round according to their latest risk score.

GDm-health: an app and back-end system for the management of diabetes in pregnant women, tested in over 1,000 patients, which showed a 25% reduction in clinic visits, when evaluated at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. This system comprises a smartphone app (now available for both the iOS and Android operating systems), with a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, for the patient; and a secure website, with optimised data presentation and alerting algorithms for healthcare professionals.

EDGE-COPD: a software system for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, developed with support from the Department of Health and Wellcome Trust through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, which showed a 17% reduction in hospital admissions during a 12-month clinical trial. This system makes use of the latest generation of computer tablets to enable COPD sufferers to complete patient diaries, respond early to worsening symptoms, and receive support from a respiratory nurse guided by prioritisation algorithms. This leads to improved self-management and a higher quality of life for these patients, with a reduction in the number of unplanned and costly hospital admissions.

System for Electronic Notes Documentation (SEND)

Drayson Technologies, Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust have signed three agreements to collaborate on the development, testing and future commercialisation of these three clinically-validated digital health products arising from research undertaken in Professor Tarassenko’s group and doctors in the OUH Trust and in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

These digital health products use machine learning to analyse data and provide decision support and patient safety information to both patients and healthcare professionals.

By investing to provide a commercial and operational infrastructure in Oxford, Drayson Technologies will enable these products to be adopted by NHS Trusts across the UK. Drayson Technologies will provide a dedicated development operations team to support this further evaluation and will work with the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Trusts to develop additional capacity to deploy these technologies across the NHS. Drayson Technologies will also set up a dedicated internet of things digital health team at Oxford Science Park.

Lord Paul Drayson, Chairman and CEO of Drayson Technologies, said:
‘These products have shown in clinical trials that they improve patient health outcomes and reduce costs for the NHS. We are delighted to be working with Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to complete clinical evaluation and deploy these products more broadly across the NHS.’

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Head of Engineering Science, Oxford University, added:
‘SEND, GDm-health and EDGE-COPD, demonstrate the benefits of the multi-disciplinary collaboration we have developed over the past decade in Oxford. We have combined world-class engineering and clinical research with feedback from frontline NHS staff to create products that deliver real benefits to patients. In Oxford, we can go all the way from laboratory prototypes to clinically-validated products.’

Dr Adam Stoten, Head of Life Sciences, Oxford University Innovation, added:
‘Digital health has enormous potential to generate patient benefit and economic savings throughout the NHS. In Drayson Technologies we have found a partner committed to providing the resources and expertise needed to support the use of these ground-breaking technologies across multiple NHS Trusts and beyond’.

The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), a partnership between Oxford University and OUH, has funded the digital health research programmes that have successfully brought SEND, GDm-health and EDGE to their current stages of development. Oxford University Innovation, the research commercialisation company of Oxford University, licensed the technologies to Drayson Technologies.

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