25th January 2016
Manchester Science Partnerships-based digital health specialist and innovator, eLucid mHealth, has been selected as one of a series of partners to work with Surrey and Borders NHS Foundation Trust on an innovative two year project that will provide people suffering from dementia with more control over their own health and well-being.
The ‘Internet of Things’ Test Bed project will demonstrate how the use of network enabled devices such as monitors, robotics and wearables will be able to provide better healthcare for older people in the comfort of their own homes. With the use of remote-connectivity, carers will also be able to monitor the behaviour of the person they are caring for without needing to be at their specific location. Surrey and Borders is one of two NHS Trusts delivering the ‘Internet of Things’ Test Bed projects, which has an emphasis on trialling various combinations of technology and devices throughout its duration.
Funded by NHS England and Innovate UK, the project comes as part of the NHS Innovation Test Beds, a series of different projects that aim to modernise health care to benefit older patients and people with long-term health problems.
eLucid mHealth’s products were identified as key technologies for the management of chronic disease, as well as an ‘Internet of Things’ solution to tackle the issue of medication management, as forgetting to take critical medicines can lead to hospitalisation and deterioration of patients. eLucid’s technology can also alert family and care givers when medications are not taken, an increasingly important feature with regard to keeping an aging population, many of whom are statistically likely to be affected by dementia, living independently.
Dr. Farid Khan, co-founder of eLucid, said: “It’s fantastic to be part of such a forward thinking NHS project and we look forward to seeing how new technologies can be integrated with the high standards of care that already exist, to the benefit of both the patients and the NHS.
“Our experience with clinical trials over the years has shown us time and again that the problem of people not sticking to their prescribed medicine dosages or schedules is huge and needs dedicated solutions, which is how eLucid came to be.
“In a few years, due to projects like Test Beds fast-tracking innovative technologies, we envisage that all bottles and blister packs of medicines will be part of the overall holistic approach to dementia care – packaging that can tell your carer or doctor if you have been taking your medications correctly and help them work with you on a programme of care.
“Being selected for the Test Bed is also an independent endorsement of our technology, developed in Manchester, its business potential and the need for it in society. The NHS Test Bed has at least doubled the value of our company overnight by virtue of opening up the NHS market, hopefully leading us to secure further investment into the company and help us continue to grow.”
eLucid has previously been supported by the Corridor Growth Fund, GM-AHSN and Santander Bank, and in 2015 was awarded £49,500 loan from the £3m North West Fund for Micro Loans to bring its patented series of medical monitoring products to market in the UK and overseas.
Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of Surrey and Borders, said: “I’m really excited that we have been given this opportunity to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families. With a growing elderly population who are likely to experience long-term physical and mental health conditions, innovative new technologies such as those we are trialling through the Internet of Things project will help more people to receive the support they need to live well in their own homes.
It is also about improving responsiveness of the health and care system, providing support at an earlier stage and reducing the amount of time people spend in hospital.”
Surrey and Borders NHS Trust, who is leading the project, will be working with the University of Surrey, Royal Holloway University of London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network, the Alzheimer’s Society, local clinical commissioning groups and a number of charities. The project will also be made up of 10 technology companies, including:
All information provided by these companies is then gathered and processed at the University of Surrey, where the data is digested and transformed in to a ‘common language’ detailing a range of results taken from the people using the service. The insights and alerts provided by the devices will then allow healthcare staff to deliver more responsive and effective services.
Payam Barnaghi, Project Technology Lead at the University of Surrey, said:
“The ‘Internet of Things’ Test Bed will provide continious monitoring and observation data in a secure environment and will provide mechanisms to extract information. This in turn will support better and faster decision making for caregivers, clinical teams and support groups."
The project will take results from approximately 700 people, more than 10% of those on the dementia register in Surrey.