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NHS Trust to use combined imaging and messaging device in COVID-19 response

NHS Trust to use combined imaging and messaging device in COVID-19 response

Medical imaging company Feedback Medical has announced that Bleepa will be rolled-out across the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with immediate effect as a key patient management tool to assist its Coronavirus response.

As the NHS meets the challenge of COVID-19, critical medical imaging studies are increasingly vital, with chest X-rays and CT scans being key aids. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has looked at innovative digital solutions to support greater collaboration and communication amongst clinical staff on the front-line.

The Trust is already familiar with the Bleepa technology having piloted the technology for many months within the Respiratory inpatient referral pathway. The feedback from the pilot has been used to hone the tool and enable an improved version of Bleepa to have been developed which is now being deployed to assist the Trust in delivering its COVID-19 response. 

Tom Oakley, CEO of Feedback, said: Pennine have been instrumental in the development and evolution of Bleepa and it is very rewarding to now put what we have developed to use in assisting the Trust at a time of great need. It will become increasingly important for clinicians to have timely access to medical imaging and other team members especially in light of a growing requirement for remote access due to self-isolation. Bleepa is the only imaging communication tool that can deliver the required workflow support at the scale required and it’s not just radiologists who need access to imaging now but all frontline personnel. The whole company feels deeply privileged to be able to help and we are immensely proud to see our tool deployed and already making a difference to delivery at this time. We will work hard to ensure that Bleepa can support and protect as many frontline NHS staff as possible and we are already looking to support other NHS Trusts who would similarly benefit from our system.”

Bleepa is an image-based communication platform which provides access to clinical grade medical images and facilitates instant messaging-based case discussion through a zero-footprint application. It can be accessed from any internet connected device including phones, tablets, laptops and desktops; clinicians can use their own devices and therefore no additional hardware is required.

Any medical imaging investigation can be shared through Bleepa to the entire clinical team, even if those teams are geographically separated or having to work remotely. Cases can be discussed through instant messaging and image annotation, allowing comments and decisions to be communicated between team members. During the outbreak, Bleepa can enable case review by clinicians at other hospitals where multisite communication is needed.

New features include a smart form for clinical data entry, group transfer and the ability to designate patients with a clinical status such as ventilation status. These features enable Coronavirus cases to be tracked as they move through the clinical pathways and more easily enable team to team referral.

Around 200 frontline clinicians within the Acute Medical Team have now been enrolled on Bleepa with more anticipated.

The app will connect clinical decision makers with frontline personnel and making relevant imaging available at the push of a button. Bleepa will capture the clinical dialogue and decision-making processes, subsequently forming part of the patient record after the admission is completed.

In addition to supporting clinical delivery Bleepa will facilitate a clinical research trial being run by the Trust. The Recovery Trial is being conducted by a dedicated team of research nurses within the Trust and will seek to assess the recovery pathway of different patient groups from COVID-19. 

Georges Ng Man Kwong, consultant chest physician and CCIO Pennine Acute NHS Trust said: “After an initial pre-COVID pilot study Bleepa was identified as a potential secure solution to register and identify patients suitable for the Recovery trial and as a messaging application to support clinical decision making. It has rapidly been adopted by our research nurses and clinician specialists in key acute areas across the hospital providing additional opportunities to identify and track patients receiving respiratory and palliative care respectively. The extraordinary circumstances within the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic has enabled us to test and modify the Bleepa solution at pace and go-live within only a few weeks with satisfactory clinical and technical specifications. Our on-going engagement with Bleepa continues to identify additional specialties and scope to widen its application within our health-care organisation that will aid clinicians both during this challenging period and once the pandemic crisis has ended.”

Med-Tech Innovation

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