Reflections of being involved in an NHS Test Bed
In 2016, AliveCor’s KardiaMobile was selected to be involved in the first wave of the NHS Test Beds programme. With the second wave competition now underway, NIA Fellow Francis White, reflects on being involved in an NHS Test Bed.
What were the expectations?
“The challenges of introducing a new medical device into the UK healthcare market are well documented, and when introducing a new disruptive technology, the challenges multiply. The NHS Testbed programme offered hope to both NHS organisations with a service development need and innovative companies to scale up beyond a pilot.
“The programme provided a perfect opportunity to partner with an NHS body to undertake ‘real life’ on the ground research into how a new product could really make a difference to people’s lives and demonstrate its value to the NHS.”
Developing a new care pathway using AliveCor’s KardiaMobile
“AliveCor’s KardiaMobile was selected by Care City, in East London, where stroke rates were amongst the highest in England.
“A new care pathway was developed to identify patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) in the pharmacy. This included the recommendation for anticoagulation of patients, where appropriate, once identified. This pathway has since become a model for other regions.”
A learning experience
“We know that the established ways of working inside the NHS have developed over many years and the risk profile has become accepted and somewhat invisible. To bring change is never easy and in the complex web of Primary Care services it can be an extraordinary challenge.
“Time had to be taken coaching individual clinicians, commissioners and senior pharmacists through the many benefits of the AF pathway, and build a parallel work-stream to really prove the case in action.”
“The work undertaken by Care City Test Bed has helped AliveCor become established here in the UK. NHS England has since funded a national purchase of mobile ECGs, including KardiaMobile in December 2017, and the compelling evidence gathered by Care City is foundational for the pharmacy sector.
“Working with the highly professional, engaged and enthusiastic team members at Care City made for a well-organised and enjoyable experience. Seeing new technologies progress quickly through this ‘maze’ is very rewarding. With the often-mixed coverage the NHS receives from the media, this is one success story of which both the NHS and the public should be proud.”