Digital health specialist Inhealthcare has developed a pioneering mobile app to bring a new level of sophistication to the home monitoring of long-term conditions by Britain's NHS.
The app, called My Inhealthcare, partners a Bluetooth-enabled self-testing device for NHS patients launched by Roche Diagnostics Ltd, the Swiss-based global healthcare company.
Roche’s new INRange device allows health readings to be transmitted via Bluetooth technology to a patient’s mobile phone via a new app, My Inhealthcare.
The readings run seamlessly through dosing software and the correct dosing information is sent back to the patient. The app is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store.
The use of Bluetooth streamlines the process of self-testing, making it more efficient for patients who no longer need to enter their readings manually.
The INRange meter is used by patients who are taking Vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin to prevent strokes related to a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.
Patients who test themselves at home spend more time in their ideal therapeutic range, according to findings from the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.
Patients who are less confident with technology can choose an automated telephone call, a desktop computer or SMS text message to send their readings to the clinician. Inhealthcare’s INR self-testing service gives choice to patients to maximise engagement, convenience and adoption of the service.
Linda Cunningham, a 50,-year-old teacher from Bracknell in Berkshire, has been using the service for more than five months and is thrilled with the service she receives. From this month Mrs Cunningham will use Roche’s new INRange meter, making self-testing even easier.
She said: “This is an amazing piece of technology put to very good use. Before I started self testing, I had to book an early morning appointment every two weeks for a blood test at my local GP surgery, which was difficult.
“As a secondary school maths teacher, it is not an option for me to work flexitime or be 10 minutes late in the morning. I also felt guilty about taking appointment time from ill people.
“Self-testing saves nurses’ time and allows them to deal with people who need medical judgments. If a machine can free up time for them to spend with the sick, it is brilliant.
“In addition, every time you go into a GP surgery waiting room you are exposed to lots of germs. It is not such a problem for me because I am fit and healthy, but it might be for more frail or elderly people.
“It means that I don’t have to stress about being late for school and getting people to cover for me. It seems simple but it is actually amazing.
“It also means that if you are on holiday, the machines goes with you. You can do this anywhere in the world.
“The added Bluetooth functionality can reduce the risk of people typing in the incorrect information. That’s got to be a good thing.”
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “If adopted widely, self-testing can also have a transformative effect on the NHS by vastly reducing the number of routine or mundane appointments.”
The My Inhealthcare app is available to patients on Inhealthcare services across the UK, in locations including Ilkley and Berkshire.
The functionality will be made available to any NHS organisations adopting the service. Patient data is fed directly into patient records using Inhealthcare’s national digital health platform. If readings fall outside of set parameters, clinicians are alerted for follow-up.
The INRange meter is available for purchase from May 2. More information is available at shop.coaguchek.com
Inhealthcare reduces pressure on hospitals and clinics by removing the need for millions of outpatient appointments every year.
Its clinically led services are being used by thousands of patients in primary, secondary, community and social care across the UK.
The company also enables clinicians to build their own digital services quickly, safely and securely.
Its national digital health platform is delivering against key NHS initiatives, forming the infrastructure for the North of England Regional Back Pain Programme, NHS England’s Sheffield City Region Test Bed, the Darlington Healthy New Town project and the chronic pain pathway redesign across Leeds.
The platform supports the remote tracking, monitoring and management of long-term health conditions for the entire UK population.
Inhealthcare is part of Intechnology plc, which is owned by Peter Wilkinson, who is one of Britain’s most successful technology entrepreneurs. He has a strong track record in bringing new consumer technology to the masses.