We’re really excited to announce that we’ve agreed a five year partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, helping them make the most of the opportunity for mobile clinical applications to improve care. This is now our second NHS partnership for clinical apps, following a similar partnership we announced last month with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
Over the last two years, the Trust has moved from paper to electronic patient records, and mobile technology is the natural next stage of this work. By giving clinicians access to cutting-edge healthcare apps that link to electronic patient records, they’ll be able to access information on the move, react quickly in response to changing patient needs, and ultimately provide even better care.
We’ll be working with the Trust to deploy our clinical app, Streams, which supports clinicians in caring for patients at risk of deterioration, particularly with conditions where early intervention can make all the difference. Like breaking news alerts on a mobile phone, the technology will notify nurses and doctors immediately when test results show a patient is at risk of becoming seriously ill. It will also enable clinicians at the Trust to securely assign and communicate about clinical tasks, and give them the information they need to make diagnoses and decisions.
This partnership builds on a relationship between the Trust, Imperial College, and DeepMind. The task management features in Streams are underpinned by a world class programme of widely published research and early product development carried out at Imperial College London and the Trust, as part of an app called Hark co-founded by Lord Ara Darzi. Using simulated data, Hark was found to improve the quality of transfer of information between staff and was rated by users as more effective and efficient, and less distracting than pagers [www.jmir.org/2016/4/e79/]. Hark became part of DeepMind in early 2016.
As in our partnership with the Royal Free, we’re also implementing state-of-the-art open and interoperable standards, via what’s known as a FHIR API. This will allow the Trust to easily, securely and consistently integrate other apps that could improve care, whether developed by third parties or innovators within the Trust. Our partners at Imperial are excited about the potential for a wide range of apps to improve care, and we’re delighted to be working with them to make this possible.
Sanjay Gautama, Caldicott Guardian and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust:
“Apps have changed the way we live our lives, from banking to shopping, and they are clearly part of the future healthcare landscape. They bring immense opportunities for faster and more efficient care, by making access to vital information quicker and easier for clinicians. But for apps to be useful and safe they cannot operate in isolation – they need to be securely linked to the core electronic patient record system.
“By working with DeepMind we are embracing the opportunities that technology brings to improve patient care, using their expertise to help us deploy a system that allows us to maximise future innovations in mobile technology for healthcare for the benefit of our patients.”
Professor Ara Darzi, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, and co-inventor of the Hark app, said:
"I am delighted that Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has partnered with DeepMind to provide nurses and doctors with digital tools to support them in delivering safe, high quality care to their patients.
“Through the NIHR-funded Imperial Patient Safety and Translational Research Centre (PSTRC), a leading team of patient safety researchers have demonstrated how a failure to provide clinicians with the right information at the right time leads to safety breakdowns and poorer outcomes for patients.
“Working with DeepMind we have been able to translate cutting edge research insights from our Hark research programme into the feature set of the Streams platform. We will be measuring what impact Streams has on patient safety and clinical outcomes over the next couple of years.”
Our hope is that the infrastructure and apps we’re building not only help improve care in the short term, but also make it much easier for Trusts to bring new innovations to the clinical frontlines in future.