Showcasing oncology innovations with Macmillan Cancer Support

Eastern AHSN partnered with Macmillan Cancer Support for an innovation matching event focussed on oncology.

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Published: 11th December 2020

Matching event sought to identify and showcase innovations which could support oncology services in the Eastern region

Eastern AHSN partnered with Macmillan Cancer Support to showcase innovations with the potential to improve the lives of people living with cancer and their families.

What is a matching event?

Our matching events provide innovators selected by our multidisciplinary review panel with an opportunity to showcase innovations to selected system partners. As well as potentially leading to partnerships and pilots, innovators also benefit from feedback on how their solution could be further developed.

Why oncology?

Oncology is a key priority area for Eastern AHSN and we believe the wealth of exciting innovators we work with presented a chance to realise the potential of a range of innovations for cancer patients. Our partners at Macmillan looked to identify innovative ways to deliver care and services which would help them in their drive to offer support from the moment of cancer diagnosis, through to treatment and beyond.

Dr Louise Jopling, Commercial Director at Eastern AHSN, Said:

“Innovation can only deliver patient impact if adopted into healthcare services. That is why we convene innovators, healthcare providers and specialists within the third sector to identify solutions which can be adopted or piloted to see how they might support people living with cancer and their families.”

Which innovations were showcased?

The matching event featured 11 innovators with solutions that could improve the lives of patients living with cancer and their families, with a specific focus on supporting mental health, home monitoring and early diagnosis.

Macmillan have initially expressed interest in five of the innovations showcased, which are:

Airglove can benefit fragile, hidden or damaged veins by gently widening blood vessels (a process known as vasodilating). With extended courses of treatment such as chemotherapy, repeated cannulation is often required. This innovation aims to make cannulation easier for healthcare professions and patients, improve hygiene and reduce costs.

C the Signs uses artificial intelligence mapped with the latest clinical evidence to support GPs to identify patients at risk of cancer at the earliest stage of the disease. It is accessible through a web browser, mobile application, or via patients’ electronic health record in primary care (EMIS, SystmOne, Vision) and has previously received funding from SBRI Healthcare, which is supported by the AHSN Network.

NeutroCheck  has been designed to enable patients with symptoms to test for neutropenic sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of chemotherapy, quickly and accurately at home using a finger-prick test. Detecting the early signs of neutropenic sepsis would enable patients to get to hospital as quickly as possible and get the treatment they need as well as avoiding unnecessary hospitalisations for those who test negative.

NeutroCheck has been supported by the Medtech Accelerator, a joint venture between Eastern AHSN, Health Enterprise East and public sector partners.

Vine Health is a NHSX-supported app for oncologists, specialist cancer nurses and patients. It allows patients to easily report and monitor their symptoms, medication and activity levels. This helps them to keep on top of their mental and physical wellbeing, see their progress and better understand their treatment.

Whzan is a cloud-based TeleHealth solution which enables a patient or carer to present vital sign monitoring results to clinicians remotely. Using the National Early Warning Score (NEWS2), it allows clinicians to prioritise patients or escalate to other health services to treat them before they require a hospital visit.

What next?

As a follow up to the meeting Eastern AHSN is currently in conversation with a number of local NHS providers and commissioners about pilots and adoption of solutions presented at the matching event and hope to work with Macmillian Cancer Support on another showcase event in 2021.

We are also in the process of finalising plans for further bespoke matching events with some of our other system partners including Suffolk and North East Essex ICS and PrescQIPP.

Do you have a great idea that could make a positive health impact?

If you are interested in our support in hosting a matching event around your needs or would like to suggest a challenge area please get in touch.

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