Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

HPE, Arqiva, Vision360 win UK health service IoT pilot projects

William Payne
February 4, 2016
The United Kingdom's National Health Service has awarded contracts to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), and to Arqiva and Vision360 to run two Internet of Things healthcare pilots in England. Five additional contracts for predictive health analytics, longitudinal health records and electronic patient pathways pilots in “NHS test beds” were awarded to a number of other companies including Alphabet Verily (the renamed Google Life Sciences division), IBM, Philips, GE, Merck, and Accenture.

The awards were announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.

According to Stevens, front-line health and care workers in the seven areas will pioneer and evaluate the use of novel combinations of interconnected devices such as wearable monitors, data analysis and ways of working which will help patients stay well and monitor their conditions themselves at home.

Successful innovations will then be available for other parts of the country to adopt and adapt to the particular needs of their local populations.

The two IoT healthcare “test beds” were announced by Stevens: Diabetes Digital Coach; and Technology Integrated Health Management.

Diabetes Digital Coach is a project led by the West of England Academic Health Science Network in partnership with charity Diabetes UK and technology companies including Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The test bed pilot will aim to bring together mobile health self-management tools (wearable sensors and supporting software) with the latest developments in connecting monitoring devices (Internet of Things), to enable people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to ‘do the right thing at the right time’ to self-manage their condition. It will also aim to encourage more timely and appropriate interventions from peers, healthcare professionals, carers and social networks.

A collaboration between Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS trust and Arqiva and Vision360, the Technology Integrated Health Management pilot will aim to help people with dementia to live in their own homes for longer. Individuals and their carers will be provided with sensors, wearables, monitors and other devices, which will combine into an IoT ecosystem to monitor their health at home. The aim is to empower people to take more control over their own health and wellbeing, as well as enabling health and social care staff to deliver more responsive and effective services.

Arqiva and Vision360 are working in partnership to deliver a national standards-based assistive care IoT platform, which brings together Vision360’s “V360 Toolkit” health and assistive care technology and the SIGFOX IoT network run by Arqiva across the UK. The SIGFOX network is already accessible by 30 per cent of the UK population across 11 major cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

The IoT Test Beds are part of IoTUK, an integrated £40 million, three-year Government programme that seeks to advance the UK’s global leadership in IoT and increase the adoption of high quality IoT technologies and services throughout businesses and the public sector.

The five NHS test beds include Care City Health and Care Test Bed; Long Term Conditions Early Intervention Programme; the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance Test Bed; the Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed; and the RAIDPlus Integrated Mental Health Urgent Care Test Bed.

The Care City Health and Care Test Bed aims to promote healthy ageing across a million-strong population in North East London.  Bringing together UCLPartners, Health Analytics, Orion Health and 9 other innovators, the partnership will aim to test and evaluate combinations of innovative technologies that can help patients to manage their own health conditions and to remain as independent as possible, supported by carers who will receive the information and connections they need coordinate care. This will include an online tool for those with dementia, a social network app which offers peer-to-peer support safely online with guidance from credible organisations and institutions, and a device which assesses falls risk and mobility.

The Long Term Conditions Early Intervention Programme will bring together Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale NHS with former Google Life Sciences Division, now called Verily, as well as Merck's MSD division, Health E Research and the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network. The aim is  to help healthcare professionals better identify and support patients at risk of long term conditions using the most advanced new predictive techniques. This will involve analysing trends and patterns related to conditions like heart failure and some lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to identify patients who would most benefit from tele-health, tele-care and tele-medicine technology. These patients will benefit from a more personalised service, in particular being proactively offered additional physician support and access to technology.

The Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance Test Bed will see the NHS, including two New Care Model Vanguard sites, partner with Philips and a number of SMEs and social enterprises to support the frail elderly and people with long term conditions to remain well outside of hospital and avoid unnecessary admissions.  They will test new approaches to identifying patients that can benefit from additional support and help them to self-care at home through improved education and telehealth technologies.

The Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed will aim to create the ‘perfect patient pathway’ to bring substantial benefits for patients in the Sheffield City Region suffering from long term conditions, such as diabetes, mental health problems, respiratory disease, hypertension and other chronic conditions. The Test Bed will aim to keep patients with long term conditions well, independent and avoiding crisis points which often result in hospital admission, intensive rehabilitation and a high level of social care support. Working in partnership with GE Finnamore, IBM and 13 smaller innovators, the local health and care system will set up an integrated intelligence centre to help get people the help they need, when they need it most.

The RAIDPlus Integrated Mental Health Urgent Care Test Bed will partner Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust partner with Accenture to offer more proactive support for people at risk of mental health crisis. Patients will have access to digital tools such as online support, risk assessments and crisis intervention plans that will enable care professionals to better support patients to manage their conditions in the community.  In addition the Test Bed will use predictive analytics technology to better identify those at risk of crisis, enabling mobile crisis workers and tele-triage workers to provide prevention support before a crisis arises.