This project is funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).
Reducing the variation in healthcare quality and improving staff workflows in a cost-effective manner remains a significant state-wide challenge for the National Health Service (NHS). There is a growing consensus, amongst both health policymakers and clinicians, that digital technologies can deliver scalable solutions to these challenges. ‘Streams’ is a healthcare industry specific, secure, smartphone application (‘app’), which is designed for clinical workflow management and the delivery of the correct clinical information to the correct clinician at the correct time, on their own smartphones. We are seeking to demonstrate that when delivered in conjunction with extensive stakeholder engagement, this app can improve upon current standards of patient safety and organisational work flow, as well as being cost-effective at an NHS Trust-wide level.
The healthcare industry remains slow to adopt next-generation technologies in comparison to other sectors and there is systemic reticence to incorporate novel technology given a risk averse culture and complex organisational barriers. In a recent call to arms, The Department of Health and Social Care has stated that the future of quality healthcare provision is reliant upon the incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies.
We aim to undertake the first organisation-wide evaluation of the implementation and effects of a healthcare smartphone application used by healthcare professionals within the NHS. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHNT) comprises five hospitals in North West London, and Streams will be implemented in a stepwise-fashion across each site under the supervision of the ICHNT Quality Improvement Team. An incremental approach to deployment will test the resilience of the app; ensure clinical safety; and support the provision of adequate staff training; thereby delivering a safe and managed implementation, as per best practice for large-scale health IT projects.
Impact and outcomes
The successful implementation of this app has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of the physiology of our patients in real time, on a device that over 99% of medics already own. The project will impact >10,000 staff across the five hospital sites, who treat >1 million patients per year. As the first large-scale deployment of a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) technology in the NHS that we are aware of, it will deliver important insights into the opportunities and challenges of delivering this type of innovation to the NHS with the potential to yield the following benefits:
- Reduce delays in the detection of patient deterioration through improved situational awareness, communication and coordination
- Enhance multi-professional productivity and efficiency, redirecting time spent by clinicians on administrative tasks to direct patient care
- Improve teamwork and reduce staff workload and stress through intelligent clinical task management and improved communication
- Improve knowledge on affordability and scalability of technology across the health system.
- Imperial College London – Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI)
- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- DeepMind Health
Mr Hutan Ashrafian firstname.lastname@example.org
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