The NHS launches new digital pilot scheme
In a bid to move towards a digital future, the traditional National Health Service has decided to undertake a pilot scheme, which will see the launch of a new 24-hour GP consultation service. The service has been established by a number of London based GPs and online healthcare company Babylon.
Patients located in Fulham and Hammersmith, West London will be able to take part in the scheme, where they will gain the ability to speak to a medical professional by video link and discuss their symptoms, in order for a GP to ascertain whether urgent treatment is required.
Through the use of a mobile app named NHS GP, patients will be able to be speak with a professional within two hours of booking an appointment. In an age where obtaining a GP appointment can be challenging, the move is sure to be welcomed by those who are continually on the move, or want to discuss a minor ailment with a GP.
However, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, who chairs the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has responded by stating: "We are really worried that schemes like this are creating a twin-track approach to NHS general practice and that patients are being 'cherry-picked', which could actually increase the pressures on traditional GPs based in the community.
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"We understand that with increasingly long waiting times to see a GP, an online service is convenient and appealing, but older patients and those living with more complex needs want continuity of care and the security of their local practice where their GPs know them.”
With a number of patient needs which can often be complex, there are increased concerns by many that such symptoms of long-term health conditions could be missed through this process.
However, there is acknowledgement throughout the medical community that the use of technology has transformed the entirety of a patients’ everyday lives, and healthcare remains one of the few industries which has so far resisted all forms of digital innovation.
Nonetheless, the move to launch GP consultations through a patients’ smartphone is also part of Jeremy Hunt’s vision of a digital future within the delivery of patient care. With proposals for patients to also gain the ability to have access to their medical records via their smartphones, as well as book GP appointments and other advances through new, innovative technologies, the NHS is slowly moving in this direction.
Introducing Dosis - the AI powered dosing platform
Cloud-based platform Dosis uses AI to help patients and clinicians tailor their medication plans. Shivrat Chhabra, CEO and co-founder, tells us how it works.
When and why was Dosis founded?
Divya, my co-founder and I founded Dosis in 2017 with the purpose of creating a personalised dosing platform. We see personalisation in so many aspects of our lives, but not in the amount of medication we receive. We came across some research at the University of Louisville that personalised the dosing of a class of drugs called ESAs that are used to treat chronic anaemia. We thought, if commercialised, this could greatly benefit the healthcare industry by introducing precision medicine to drug dosing.
The research also showed that by taking this personalised approach, less drugs were needed to achieve the same or better outcomes. That meant that patients were exposed to less medication, so there was a lower likelihood of side effects. It also meant that the cost of care was reduced.
What is the Strategic Anemia Advisor?
Dosis’s flagship product, Strategic Anemia Advisor (SAA), personalises the dosing of Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs). ESAs are a class of drugs used to treat chronic anaemia, a common complication of chronic kidney disease.
SAA takes into account a patient’s previous ESA doses and lab levels, determines the patient’s unique response to the drug and outputs an ESA dose recommendation to keep the patient within a specified therapeutic target range. Healthcare providers use SAA as a clinical decision support tool.
What else is Dosis working on?
In the near term, we are working on releasing a personalised dosing module for IV iron, another drug that’s used in tandem with ESAs to treat chronic anaemia. We’re also working on personalising the dosing for the three drugs used to treat Mineral Bone Disorder. We’re very excited to expand our platform to these new drugs.
What are Dosis' strategic goals for the next 2-3 years?
We strongly believe that personalised dosing will be the standard of care within the next decade, and we’re honored to be a part of making that future a reality. In the next few years, we see Dosis entering partnerships with other companies that operate within value-based care environments, where tools like ours that help reduce cost while maintaining or improving outcomes are extremely useful.
What do you think AI's greatest benefits to healthcare are?
If designed well, AI in healthcare allows for a practical and usable way to deploy solutions that would not be feasible otherwise. For example, it’s possible for someone to manually solve the mathematical equations necessary to personalise drug dosing, but it is just not practical. AI in healthcare offers an exciting path forward for implementing solutions that for so long have appeared impractical or impossible.