Now more than ever, technology is at the forefront of our lives, and health technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital space. At the touch of a finger you can speak to a GP virtually, log symptoms and use AI activated gadgets. As the Tech4Good awards open for nominations, we wanted to highlight some past winners of the award.
Previous winner, TapSOS, is a non – verbal method of contacting the Emergency Services. It simplifies the connection process in most stressful situations, allowing the user to understand and process vital information quickly and efficiently. Currently the only way to get in touch with the emergency services is through a call or text which can be difficult for people with disabilities. The app was created with those in mind that are deaf, have a loss of hearing or have a speech impediment, but it is also beneficial for those with breathing difficulties, allergies, or those in situations of Domestic Abuse or being held against their will.
TapSOS is a completely new product in a new market. It offers inclusiveness and provides an effective method for all smartphone users to contact the Emergency Services in situations of distress and duress. TapSOS stores the individual’s medical history and pertinent personal information on their device, delivering this directly to the selected Emergency Service. It also uses GPS to pinpoint the user’s exact location.
Another previous winner is project Fizzyo, which has an aim of improving physiotherapy care for children with Cystic Fibrosis. The Fizzyo device itself is a wireless sensor that connects to existing Cystic Fibrosis Physiotherapy equipment, turning breaths into controls for video games. Airway clearance techniques, physical activity and exercise can mitigate the progression of Cystic Fibrosis lung disease, but routine physiotherapy treatments can be a burden and adherence is usually quite low, thus making the need for an interactive and fun device even more crucial.
Fizzyo has worked with engineers, designers and UCL computer science students to develop electronically chipped ACT devices and wearable activity trackers to facilitate automatic data transmission from the homes of children with Cystic Fibrosis to the clinicians and researchers caring for them. Industry partners (Microsoft) and UCL computer science experts and students have also helped to develop computer games driven by breathing through a device, to create an interactive and enjoyable experience for the child. This immersive experience also drives further adherence to the much needed physiotherapy care.
This platform has the potential in the future to guide personalised physiotherapy prescription based on individual responses and provide a template for remote monitoring of other interventions in Cystic Fibrosis across the NHS.
And finally, another previous winner is the C The Signs support tool. ‘C the Signs’ is a decision support tool, available on IOS, android and as a website, that helps fight against cancer with an early diagnosis. It uses artificial intelligence, combined with national evidence-based guidelines, to help General Practitioners (GPs) identify patients with Cancer early.
Diagnosing cancer is extremely challenging and, unlike other diseases, there is no single identifiable symptom or test that can alert Doctors to a potential cancer diagnosis. Cancer is a collection of signs, symptoms and risk factors, which often overlap with many other long-term diseases.
“The sooner we diagnose cancer, the better chance we have to cure it. Our vision has been to shift the stage at diagnosis so no patient, family member or community has to suffer the pain of another preventable death from Cancer,” said Dr Bhavagaya Bakshi, one of the two doctors responsible for the new health technology.
Using primary care data and evidence, the C The Signs support tool can spot other less obvious signs and symptoms that feature in the early stage of cancers. The technology it uses means that data can be easily cross-referenced. Once a patient’s symptoms reach a particular threshold, they are then referred on for more in-depth testing.
To enter the award, please visit here. This Award is open to any individual, business, charity, social enterprise or other public body with a presence in the UK. It may refer to the work you do as a whole or one specific digital health project, you can nominate your own organisation or a project you admire.