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Huma Joins Forces With Independent Healthcare Provider to Launch Virtual Ward Service for the NHS

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Huma Joins Forces With Independent Healthcare Provider to Launch Virtual Ward Service for the NHS | Pharmtech Focus

Huma are partnering with Xyla Elective Care, a national provider of NHS England-funded elective services, to deliver tech-enabled virtual wards using Huma’s award-winning1 remote patient monitoring platform.

The NHS has set a target for Trusts to deliver between 40 to 50 virtual beds per 100,000 population by December 2023. By combining Huma’s technology with Xyla Elective Care’s proven experience in assisting the NHS to leverage large-scale workforces for capacity solutions, the service will support NHS trusts to create new capacity which expedites hospital discharge and reduces the rate of both admissions and re-admissions.

Huma’s digital virtual ward platform is already used by more than 3,000 hospitals and clinics including across over 20 NHS sites to support people with cardiovascular disease, COVID-19, diabetes and more. Evidence shows virtual wards powered by Huma’s technology can almost double clinical capacity2, reduce hospital admissions by over 30%2, reduce hospital stays by nearly 40%3 and deliver up to four times lower COVID-19 mortality rates3.

The service will enable patients to be discharged earlier from hospital or avoid hospital admission by equipping them with the tools to record and share observations on their health from the comfort of their own home. They will have the reassurance of a nursing team who will monitor their observations remotely and who will make visits to patients as required. Regionally based matrons meanwhile, will manage the virtual wards, liaising with the local consultant who remains in control of their patients.

By providing an in-person element to the service (for example a visit for a blood test) alongside advanced technology, each solution can be personalised to the individual patient. The virtual ward patients will ultimately be handed back to local services at the time of discharge with guidance on how to coordinate their future care, a review of their medicine and education for patients on their self-care.

The most recent guidance from the NHS asks for all integrated care systems (ICSs) to extend or introduce the virtual ward model, setting expectations for ICSs to implement virtual ward models for two pathways – acute respiratory infection and frailty. Xyla Elective Care and Huma’s virtual ward offer will help increase capacity across a range of pathways, with an initial focus on COPD and acute respiratory, frailty, heart failure, DVT and post-operative management.

Dr Mert Aral, Chief Medical Officer at Huma said: “With the NHS under increasing pressure, virtual wards can make a huge difference for clinical teams and improve the patient experience. During the pandemic, Huma’s award-winning platform helped almost double clinical capacity and reduce readmissions, whilst receiving highly positive feedback from patients and clinical teams.

“We’re delighted to be working with Xyla Elective Care to expand tech-enabled virtual wards across the UK. As we’ve designed our platform to be disease-agnostic, it can be adapted and used for multiple care pathways, particularly for patients with co-morbidities. Our technology is already supporting the NHS towards its virtual ward capacity targets and helping patients remain at home safely with appropriate monitoring, avoiding potential unnecessary admissions.”

“Using Xyla Elective Care’s human capital and infrastructure we can further accelerate the adoption of virtual wards in the NHS to create more capacity and take pressure off front-line clinical teams, enabling the delivery of more efficient and proactive care. Together, we can help more people to live longer, fuller lives.”

Professor Matthew Cooke, Chief Medical Officer for Xyla Elective Care, said: “It is no secret that patients want to be at home, if possible, but need to feel that they have the support around them to ensure they are getting the right standards of care.

“By implementing the Huma platform with its incredible digital capabilities, we are able to remotely monitor patients who would otherwise be in a secondary care bed. This helps to free up space within the Trusts and increase capacity for other patients who are perhaps in greater need of a hospital bed.

“We do however need to be acknowledging those patients who are eligible for the virtual wards as soon as possible in their journey and recognising those patients who are more likely to require readmission so that we can work to reduce that risk. By having the virtual wards in place, we will be able to closely monitor and detect any deterioration so that we can provide early intervention.”

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