An AI-powered solution for managing demand for hospital services has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK, in recognition of its effectiveness in dealing with the huge increase in demand for hospital services due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Vantage Health uses technology to enable GPs and dentists to easily direct their patients towards the right care pathways, ensuring consistency of referrals, enhancing visibility of services for commissioners and reducing the overall number of patients that result in hospital admission. The last element led one London-based Trust to request urgent support in dealing with the increased volume of patients to their main hospital, as a result of COVID-19.
Vantage Health agreed to work with London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust at no cost, to adapt and implement its secure, cloud-based Rego software platform. The system enabled GPs to share clinical information with the specialists, either at their practices or at home, to ensure they have access to the best possible guidance in the treatment of their patients as local healthcare services continue to respond to the challenges presented by Coronavirus.
Once fully up and running, it I s expected that over 75% patients served will be able to receive their care away from the hospital. The service will be able to identify the 25% of patients that need to attend hospitals during the COVID-19 period and ensure their appointments remained unaffected.
Dr Radhika Balu, a GP and clinical director of a local CCG that supported the project, said: “I was sceptical at first, as technologies in the NHS have often been clunky and lagged behind other industries by at least a decade. I am hoping that more GPs will try the platform in the next few weeks.”
Vantage Health’s clinical liaison and transformation director, David Ezra, added: “We were delighted to receive this award as recognition of the innovativeness of our solution, as well as its value in addressing the substantial challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis on outpatient care. Introduction of the Rego platform has already made a huge difference, but full implementation will support clinicians in their decision making by automating the outpatient referral process, while taking into account the latest clinical information on care pathways and availability of local services.
“Large reductions in outpatient attendance at hospitals were seen as critical for the survival of the NHS before the pandemic, it has now become even more urgent with waiting lists of over 10 million predicted in England by the end of the year. All Acute Hospital Trusts are likely to see a spike in demand as patients seek medical advice they have deferred for months, but we are confident that by implementing Rego, the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed would be significantly reduced.”