1st May 2024. 

Last week, we had the privilege of hosting an exciting event focused on innovative patient engagement tech. From cutting-edge technologies to revolutionary approaches, the event showcased how the NHS is leveraging digital tools to transform the way patients interact with their hospitals.

The fantastic contributions of our guest speakers, combined with the enthusiasm of our lovely attendees made it an enlightening and impactful day, full of important insights to help drive positive change in healthcare.

Let’s dive into the highlights and key takeaways from this inspiring gathering!


NHS England: Mobile first strategy update

Natasha Lane and Dom McKinnon-Green started the day off brilliantly with an insightful presentation around NHSE’s current areas of focus, and looked back on what they have been achieved in the last year. A key message was reducing demand on the front line, particularly by maximising value from the NHS App to encourage self-service and self-care. For example, nearly 33 million repeat prescriptions were requested via the NHS App between Jan 2023 and Dec 2023, and had increased by 44.2% in the last 12 months. They also shared that more than 450,000 people have completed 111 triages through the NHS App since integration went live.

They then delved into future developments and plans to be delivered in 2024, including the Wayfinder roadmap. At present, 82 trusts are live with core features, with 40 of these also live with a mix of additional features!


Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust: The importance of interprofessional collaboration to the success of a patient communications project

We were very lucky to have Rachel Marsh – Head of Patient Administration, Charlotte Stobbs – IT Product Owner, and Dr Chris Watts – Consultant Anaesthetist from Portsmouth presenting about their internal processes for implementing a new digital patient communication and waiting list validation strategy with a focus on the recent re-build of their Patient Engagement Portal. The Trust shared the effectiveness of working collaboratively with staff from all teams in the development stage and beyond, to deliver the most safe and effective solutions, including the importance of clinical involvement in creating patient messaging to assess any potential safety risks.

They discussed their key drivers, from elective care recovery and NHS App adoption to patient safety and financial savings, and amazing outcomes so far including 35K waiting list validation survey responses, and £6.5K Return on Investment reported monthly. The Trust also shared their significant workforce time savings due to reduced telephone queries and the standardisation of clinic information.


King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: How digital pre-procedure prep reduced cancelled colonoscopies by 28%

Dina Allam and Dipti Prasad from King’s joined us on stage next, to share their important and innovative work developing a unique solution for tackling failed colonoscopy appointments. Colonoscopies are a crucial, life-saving procedure used to diagnose many bowel conditions and cancers, however the trust were seeing a 5% on-the-day cancellation rate and 6-7% incomplete procedures due to forgotten or incorrect bowel preparation, which resulted in a £221K annual loss.

The team worked with Healthcare Communications to automate and personalise SMS reminders with video instructions and timed prompts to improve education and compliance around bowel prep, which significantly reduced cancellations whilst improving patient experience. The results were very impressive! Over the first six months, the digital solution improved patient preparation and reduced wasted slots by 28%, leading to £130k savings a year. The initiative has streamlined appointments, addressed critical issues, and set a model for efficiency in patient care which can now be shared with other trusts and scaled to other departments.


Deep Medical: Expanding clinic capacity with AI, and reducing DNAs by 30%

Dr Benyamin Deldar, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Deep Medical, was up next with a fantastic presentation on how his company are leveraging AI to increase clinic utilisation and drive equitable access to healthcare. A shocking £1.5 billion is lost every year by the NHS due to no-shows and short notice cancellations, and this number goes up to $150 billion in the US.

Deep Medical are using AI to understand patient compliance, by taking over 650 million behavioural and environmental data points from multiple sources to predict who will DNA, and then utilise this data to tailor healthcare messaging around it. Benyamin also discussed how this technology can help to challenge health inequalities, as he demonstrates the significant difference in DNA rates for people living in the most deprived areas. If a patient misses just 2 hospital appointments their risk of death increases by 8 times, which in turn increases the likelihood of the person requiring more urgent and emergency care, further increasing pressure on the NHS.

Deep Medical have now partnered with Healthcare Communications to integrate into the UK’s leading patient communications platform such in order maximise their ability to reduce waiting lists and health inequalities.


RCS and Branded Messaging: A new era of patient activation and inclusive engagement

Our very own Kenny Bloxham and Mark Broughton rounded out the day with some demonstrations of next-gen technology, designed to maximise patient engagement and take the manual admin burdens away from staff. They discussed how to use Rich Communication Services (RCS), the 2.0 of SMS that is already used by 1 billion globally, to provide patients with superior digital experience that offers app like features without the download. This new tech can empower smart, proactive, and personalised interactions across the patient journey, whilst fostering patient trust and confidence in digital communications with branded and verified profiles.

Overall, it was a brilliant day and great to see everyone face to face, we’re already counting down the days until we can do another one! Get in touch to let us know who or what you’d like to see next time.