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SMARTPHONE SELFIE PROJECT SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 HSJ AWARDS

A digital project which turns smartphones into medical devices to detect infections for renal patients at Salford Royal, part of the Northern Care Alliance Group, has been shortlisted in the Digitising Patient Services initiative at this year’s HSJ Awards.

The HSJ Award judging panel, made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community, have shortlisted Salford Royal’s project, despite the tough competition from hundreds of excellent applicants.

The project benefits patients who have renal conditions, using the latest smartphone technology to improve the way infections are detected and treated.

 A cohort of 22 patients with a kidney transplant - who are particularly prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) - trialled home-testing kits, linked to a unique and clinically-approved phone app.

 Using the latest in image recognition and artificial intelligence (AI), it transforms the patient’s smartphone into a clinical-grade scanner – with the same pinpoint accuracy as lab-based analysis.

 The trial was developed by kidney transplant and digital teams at the Trust, in partnership with clinical technology specialists, Healthyio.Previously, at the first sign of infection, these patients would have to make an appointment to visit their GP, give a urine sample for lab diagnosis, and wait – sometimes up to three days - for the results and to start medication.Now they simply undertake the same dipstick test in the comfort of their own home in a matter of minutes, using their smartphone camera to capture the readings.

 At the touch of a button, these results are then transmitted to the hospital’s kidney transplant team, who can prescribe appropriate antibiotics.

The team believes that the way this technology has speeded up diagnosis and treatment has prevented hospital admission in some cases. 

Furthermore, initial feedback from our patients has been extremely positive with a score of 88 being reported by the Net Promoter tool analysing client experience and loyalty – in an environment where over 70 is considered world-class.

Consultant nephrologist, Dr Rachel Middleton, said: “We’re really pleased to have been nominated and recognised for the work we have done on this project.

“This project has already triggered interest at the British Transplant Society. Our kidney transplant medical and nursing team already cares for more than 700 patients, aged between 20 and 93, from across Salford as well as Wigan, Bolton and Oldham – so the untapped potential benefit in transplant patients alone is huge.

“Early detection plays an important role in reducing the severity of the infection and the risk of contracting life-threatening conditions, such as sepsis and acute kidney injury (AKI).”

HSJ editor Alistair Mclellan, comments “We would like to congratulate Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust on being nominated ahead of this year’s 2019 HSJ awards. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in November, to join us in recognising the very best achievements and innovations in the healthcare sector. The entrants this year have been of incredible calibre, and each of the finalists in this category have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare.”

Winners will be selected ahead of the 2019 HSJ awards ceremony, which is due to be held at the Battersea Evolution Centre, London on November 6th.

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