Priority Digital Health wins place on coveted G-Cloud 12 framework

30/09/2020

Priority Digital Health wins place on coveted G-Cloud 12 framework

Fast growing digital provider, Priority Digital Health, has been listed as a supplier on the ‘G-Cloud 12’ framework, a coveted procurement catalogue managed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).

Created to simplify the procurement process of cloud-based technology for public sector bodies, the G-Cloud 12 framework will enable organisations to easily acquire Priority Digital Health’s proprietary platform, without the need for tenders, via the government’s Digital Marketplace.

To gain approval for G-Cloud 12, Priority Digital Health underwent a four-month application process involving a rigorous set of security, technical and credibility checks. Only 5300 UK-based organisations have been awarded a place on the highly competitive framework.

Alison Meadows, Joint Chief Executive, said: “As social distancing continues, the need for cloud software has never been greater for public sector organisations, particularly for those delivering health and social care services in their communities.

We are already well-equipped to help leaders digitise and scale up public health programmes including weight management, diabetes education and social prescribing. This framework will enable us to easily connect with and support more providers to transform their health and wellbeing services online.

We look forward to the opportunities that being listed on the gold-standard G-Cloud 12 framework will bring.”

Earlier this year Priority Digital Health became a partner for the esteemed Medical Interoperability Gateway, enabling the organisation to access and share all registered patient records in the UK, alongside achieving both ISO 27001 accreditation and NHS DCB 0129 compliance.

Priority Digital Health’s proven track record includes online community and lifestyle services, digital social prescribing and digital diabetes education booking services. With a focus on disease prevention and health promotion, Priority Digital Health is transforming the way patients access lifestyle and wellbeing services online.

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Algorithms: do they run or ruin our lives?

3/09/2020

Algorithms: do they run or ruin our lives?

From ‘mutant’ algorithms being blamed for exam chaos to Facebook algorithms ‘actively promoting’ Holocaust denial content, there has been much negative press in recent weeks about the elusive algorithm. But what are they exactly?

 

They go unnoticed

Believe it or not, we all encounter algorithms daily. When you made that coffee, tied your shoelaces, or drove to work this morning you were using an algorithm.

An algorithm is simply a plan, a set of step-by-step instructions to help solve a problem.

Its clear to see that algorithms run our lives, but do they ruin our lives too?

Good algorithms

Using algorithms for good can be seen in our everyday life.

For example: With very little human involvement algorithms monitor supermarket sales, weather patterns and historical trends to order in new stock. This results in little space in the warehouse and increased profit margins.

Other examples can be seen when you log onto Netflix and certain films are recommended or when you use your sat nav to find a destination but get re-routed due to an accident.

There are even heart-warming stories about how algorithms have helped change our lives for the better, with more and more people meeting their long-term partner via dating apps – those meeting online have a reported lower divorce rate too.

The future of algorithms

The ability of a computer to act and think like a human is no longer reserved for science fiction movies.

It is here. And not just enhancing our lives but saving our lives too.

The government is so convinced in its ability to improve healthcare that it has invested 250 million pounds to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease by 2030.

This investment is based on evidence provided by the likes of Google Health. They recently reported that in one study their artificial intelligence system accurately identified cancer in breast screening mammograms which six radiologists missed.

They did however also have some instances where radiologists spotted signs of breast cancer which the system did not. Although there were fewer incorrect diagnoses and fewer missed cases than radiologists, it demonstrates the importance of using artificial alongside human intelligence.

Google Health themselves see this system as enabling or augmenting their experts, rather than replacing them, and regard it more powerful than being used in silo.

Our take on algorithms

There is arguably no such thing as a bad algorithm. It cannot question its own foundation and is simply calculating the problem which has been input by a human. They are little more than procedures which follow underlying models using inputted data to produce output data.

As the old computer-science saying goes “garbage in, garbage out.”

Here at Priority Digital Health we understand the importance of meshing artificial intelligence with human insight. Algorithms are designed by people and intended to be used by people, but not exclusively. With the right input and right judgement an algorithm, developed by digital health experts as part of a digital solution, can help save our NHS, public health bodies and other workplaces both time and money.

For example, our Priority platform which underpins all our Service offerings, includes a customised holistic assessment which enables patients to complete a range of personalised, nationally accredited lifestyle assessment questions, with multiple referral pathways for each user – these include smoking cessation, weight management and social prescribing services.

The platform has been designed to seamlessly integrate with a range of targeted self-care and behaviour change apps, tools, and resources. It is based on algorithms which intuitively respond to each individual patient’s needs with rules based on the requirements of each individual service.

Similarly, our ‘Priority You’ platform is a digital screening and demand-management solution which enables the triage of patients into – or out of – a GP practice safely and effectively according to their need.

Whilst acting as a gatekeeper for appointment bookings, the solution offers a range of targeted health care professional, self-care, social prescribing, and community healthcare services as alternative options. All based on algorithms again.

How algorithms can help you

Priority Digital Health has a proven track record of working with the NHS and Public Health Teams to create bespoke digital solutions for their communities which are helping people to lead healthier lives and also potentially saving the NHS millions.

Contact us today to see how we can underpin any type of service and request a free demonstration.

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Team PDH are saddling up in support of Diabetes UK

12/08/2020

Team PDH are saddling up in support of Diabetes UK

This September Founder and Joint Chief Executive of digital innovator Priority Digital Health is leading ‘Team PDH’ and saddling up in support of Diabetes UK.

41-year old John Dibb will be cycling 950 miles in just one month, the equivalent of cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats. In total the team will be cycling 2,050 miles, and John will be hoping that his pace will match that of the fast growth of the Cambridge-based firm.

“An estimated 3.5 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes across the UK and it is currently the fifth most common reason for death in the world. To know diabetes is to fight diabetes, which is why I’m taking on this challenge to raise awareness of the disease and raise vital funds for this worthy charity. Not only am I pedalling towards a stronger, healthier me I’m hoping that it will help transform the lives of people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes”.

Priority Digital Health’s commitment to tackling diabetes can also be seen in their ground-breaking ‘Diabetes Book and Learn’. The platform is enabling 3.2 million people across South London, who live with Type 1 and 2 diabetes, to book diabetes education courses that will help them manage their condition and could potentially save the NHS millions of pounds. Since its launch in September 2018, the platform has seen over 11,000 GP referrals, with 90% of all referrals resulting in a course booking.

“We’ve been able ot see first-hand how our ‘Book and Learn’ platform enables people to take greater control of their health and wellbeing, whilst reducing the strain on GP Practices and NHS appointments generally. Here at Priority Digital Health we all want to play our part, so several members of the team are gearing up to join me in this challenge.

Getting out into the fresh air on our bikes is not only good for our physical health but it is positive for our mental health too. A business’s greatest assets are arguably its people, so as Joint Chief Executive I feel it is important to encourage a happy and healthy workforce. We have all been training together and its really inspired us to crank up the effort and smash this cycling challenge”.  

If you would like to sponsor John and help him reach his £1,000 target then visit cycle.diabetes.org.uk and search for ‘John Dibb’.

     

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Priority Digital Health achieves Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) accreditation

28/07/2020

Priority Digital Health achieves Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) accreditation

Fast growing digital provider, Priority Digital Health, has this month become an accredited partner for the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG), data sharing technology developed by Healthcare Gateway.

The industry-leading MIG is a secure middleware technology which facilitates the two-way exchange of patient information between health and social care organisations.

Achieving MIG accreditation means that the Priority Digital Health platform can now access and share over 60.4 million patient records, in real-time, with healthcare settings across the country. The fully interoperable gateway allows integration with all major GP IT systems including EMIS Health, TPP Vision, plus data from social care, mental health and community organisations in HTML or structured format.

Alison Meadows, Joint Chief Executive at Priority Digital Health, said: “The systems we already have in place to protect our patients and their information is vitally important to us and we are continually reviewing and refining the way we do this. Not only for today, but also for the post-Covid-19 future.

That’s why we are delighted to achieve partner status for the esteemed Medical Interoperability Gateway. The system enables our Priority platform to share data seamlessly across a whole plethora of health settings, streamlining the patient journey and, crucially, saving precious administration time for healthcare professionals.”

The MIG which was launched in 2010 by Healthcare Gateway, is used by 70% of Local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) in England. Access to patient data improves patient pathways and provides healthcare professionals with the right data, in the right place at the right time to make informed decisions efficiently.

Liam King, Director of Customer and Commercial at Healthcare Gateway, said: “We’re delighted to be partnered with Priority Digital Health enabling MIG connectivity to seamlessly share patient information in real-time. The integration will help healthcare professionals make faster more informed decisions. We’re looking forward to working with Priority Digital Health supporting better health across England.

Earlier this year Priority Digital Health also achieved ISO 27001 accreditation, the internationally renowned information security management certificate, and NHS DCB 0129 compliance, the UK’s mandatory safety standard for health IT systems.

To visit the Priority Digital Health website, visit https://www.prioritydigitalhealth.com/. To learn more about the Medical Interoperability Gateway, visit https://healthcaregateway.co.uk/.

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Priority Digital Health welcomes Social Prescribing announcement

23/06/2020

Priority Digital Health welcomes Social Prescribing announcement

Fast-growth digital innovator Priority Digital Health has welcomed this week’s announcement by the British Medical Association which calls for Social Prescribing to be a default option for GP Practices and incorporated fully into GP Practice IT systems.

Joint Chief Executive of Priority Digital Health, Alison Meadows, said “We strongly welcome The British Medical Association’s call for social prescribing to be incorporated fully into GP IT systems. As members of the Social Prescribing Network we recognise the empowering role of Social Prescribing in enabling people to take greater control of their health and wellbeing while reducing the strain on GP Practices and NHS appointments generally.”

The leading-edge proprietary Priority Platform, which underpins the service offering by Priority Digital Health, is accredited by the NHS EMIS Health patient-management system and is already powering services to over 7 million UK patients. It has DCB O129 compliance and the internationally renowned ISO 27001 accreditation.

The Cambridge-based firm’s focus is on disease prevention and health promotion and the Priority Platform is transforming the way patients access primary care services online through effective self-referral, including for Social Prescribing. The platform has an effective case management system for healthcare providers.

Its proven track record includes the successful Essex Welfare Service platform, launched in response to Covid-19, and Diabetes Book and Learn in South London, which is enabling people living with Type 1 and 2 diabetes to book diabetes education courses that will help them manage their condition and potentially save the NHS millions of pounds.

Priority Digital Health’s unique full-service offering for healthcare partners including Primary Care Networks, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Local Authorities provides end-to-end design and delivery including marketing services for patients.

 

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Mental Health in the Workplace

Working man
16/06/2020

Mental Health in the Workplace

Every year an astounding 70 million workdays are lost due to employees facing mental health challenges, costing their employers approximately £2.4 billion.

Mental health in the workplace should not purely be a discussion about the negative financial impact though.

Evidence shows that work is beneficial to health and wellbeing, giving individuals a stronger sense of self-esteem, purpose and identity.

It is also well documented that having a happy and healthy workforce can lead to increased productivity and longevity of service.

A business’s greatest assets are arguably it’s people. They define the brand and the perception of a company in the community.

Look after a workforce and they will look after your business…

The impact of coronavirus

nurse

At the height of lockdown, almost half of the UK’s workforce said they were working from home.

Millions couldn’t work from home though.

Keyworkers continued to leave their homes for our hospitals, supermarkets, care homes, schools, train stations, warehouses and many other establishments in a bid to keep Britain moving.

An increase in working hours, often underpinned by concerns of hygiene and childcare, has understandably put a strain on the wellbeing of our keyworkers.

Many who fought the covid-19 pandemic on the front line are now fighting their own mental health battle.

Those able to work from home faced their own challenges. And they are set to continue with no great exodus back into the office as restrictions have lifted. Indeed, many companies, such as Twitter, are suggesting that they will allow employees to work from home permanently.

No commute providing that home/work separation, no chats around the water cooler and many juggling home schooling with video conferences could have a detrimental impact on mental health.

What businesses can do

Typically, the average adult spends around a third of their waking hours in the workplace.

This gives employers an ideal opportunity to promote a healthy working culture, including having a healthy home/work balance.

Mind, the mental health charity, suggests this leads to healthier minds as sustained pressure to work long hours leads to stress and burnout with productivity, morale and creativity stifled.

Digital platforms are fast becoming a recognised way to help employers enhance the wellbeing of their employees in and out of the workplace.

The Priority Platform which includes a workplace health module has a range of personalised, nationally accredited lifestyle assessments, with individualised pathways for each user.

Recognising that each person is different Priority Digital Health have not taken a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The platform seamlessly integrates with a range of targeted self-care and behaviour change apps, tools and resources, giving employees the right type of care when they need it most.

It is the only digital system which responds, in real-time, to the needs of a community, connecting people with a range of local, non-clinical interventions through nationally accredited, holistic assessments online.

From volunteering opportunities and physical activity classes, to debt advice and employment services, this is more than a ‘directory of services’. It offers employers a complete picture of health and wellbeing support available in their area.

The future

The uncertainty that covid-19 has brought into the workplace has increased stress and anxiety for many, whatever their working environment.

With a renewed focus on protecting the physical safety of employees in new covid-safe environments this must not be at the expense of protecting mental health.

After all, how can employees look after their clients, customers or patients if they are not looking after themselves?

It is time for the actions of employers on mental health to go above just a legal obligation. They must morally want to make a difference in the lives of their employees. By investing in the mental health of staff they are investing in the health of a whole business.

The importance of digital in this is important, now more than ever. Physical isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation with the power of digital connecting us all for the betterment of mental health.

For more information about mental health in the workplace visit: https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/

 

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How Covid-19 is accelerating the ‘digital divide’

15/05/2020

How Covid-19 is accelerating the ‘digital divide’

Many of us have turned to social media in a bid to re-ignite the sense of community lost by social distancing. Video chats with friends and online exercise classes are daily occurrences for many.

The current health crisis has certainly accelerated our reliance on digital tools in a bid to maintain some semblance of normal.

The same can be said for public health bodies and local authorities too. As they try to keep people physically and mentally well during lockdown, they are faced with a further challenge – ensuring those who are digitally excluded are not socially excluded.

The Covid-19 crisis has shown that solutions can rapidly be put in place and successfully relieve pressure on the health sector. Priority Digital Health, for example, developed and launched the Covid-19 Welfare Platform within the space of a week.

However, with 1.9 million households having no or limited access to the internet or uncomfortable with digital tools, the very people the service was designed to help may not be able to access it.

As the demand for digital grows what can be done to help those offline access this same level of support?

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport has distributed internet-ready devices to hospitals and care homes, so the sick and elderly can stay connected with their families. They have also pledged to give free tablet or laptop computers and 4G based mobile broadband service to those children deemed disadvantaged.

These efforts to support our most vulnerable in society by giving them the tools to go online should be applauded. But, in this time of social distancing, we need human connectivity more than ever to close the digital divide. In the UK, 5 million people reportedly have zero basic digital skills and a further 1 million basic abilities – more needs to be done to help them get online.

Community organisations and charities are coming together to provide this invaluable support. One Digital, a collaborative digital inclusion programme spearheaded by AGE UK, works with a network of volunteer ‘digital champions’ to deliver free training to vulnerable people across the UK.

There is evidently an increase in demand for services right now. Silverline, the free confidential helpline providing information, friendship, and advice to older people, has reported a 30% increase in calls over the last 2 months.

Similarly, the NHS 111 online service usually receives 10k visits a day but during the peak of the pandemic reported nearly 1 million.

The digital divide is not solely about loneliness and isolation though. It could fast become a matter of life or death. Those who cannot or do not know how to access such healthcare services online may be at risk.

Priority Digital Health have played their part. In association with Essex County Council and Provide CIC, they trained 350 call handlers and 3500+ volunteers within the space of a week on how to use the Covid-19 Welfare Platform. Since its launch in early April 2019 thousands in the community have been paired with vulnerable people needing support with daily tasks, such as picking up medication and food shopping.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that digital solutions can have a positive impact on health and social care, but it has also accelerated the digital divide. To ensure that digital inequalities are not exacerbated, and the current health crisis does not worsen, we must go back to our roots. Digital connectivity still requires human connectivity.

 

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Priority Digital Health get seal of security approval with ISO 27001 certification

16/04/2020

Priority Digital Health get seal of security approval with ISO 27001 certification

Priority Digital Health has been given a seal of approval this month gaining internationally renowned ISO 27001 certification.

Additionally, working with Clinical Safety Consultants at ETHOS who provided third party assessment, PDH reached DCB 0129 compliance standard which is designed to promote and ensure the effective application of clinical risk management. It is the UK’s mandatory safety standard for health IT systems and apps and is governed by NHS Digital, with compliance mandatory under the Health and Social care Act 2012. The standard is strictly about safety, ensuring that the system does not cause patient harm, and underpins all national healthcare initiatives.

Priority Digital Health’s achievement of DCB compliance was followed shortly after with the news of its ISO 27001 accreditation; the internationally recognised information security management certificate issued by the British Standards Institution.

The accreditation process for ISO 27001 involved detailed inspections and testing of the security systems and controls which have been implemented for safe information management. This involved scoping what information needed to be protected within the company’s information security management system and identifying any threats to that information. Topics covered included General Data Protection Regulation and potential security threats such as cybercrime, personal data breaches and theft.

John Dibb, Joint Chief Executive of Priority Digital Health, said: “Clinical risk management, and the systems we have in place to protect our patients and their information, is vitally important to us. We are continually reviewing and refining the way we do this; not only for today, but also for the post-Covid-19 future.

The ISO 27001 certificate is essential to ensuring a robust approach to IT security and demonstrates our commitment to building further resilience. It should be a comfort to our customers to know that Priority Digital Health is working to the highest data and IT security standard possible.

This is bolstered by the DCB 0129 compliance which ensures patient risks are mitigated. At a time when some organisations are deferring full compliance with DCB 0129 due to Covid-19 we hope that this recognition of compliance demonstrates our commitment to patient safety.”

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PDH help support 400,000 vulnerable adults in Essex

7/04/2020

PDH help support 400,000 vulnerable adults in Essex

  • Cambridge based firm Priority Digital Health develop and launch new platform in response to the COVID-19 crisis within the space of a week.
  • 350 call handlers trained, 3500+ volunteers onboarded, and 400,000 vulnerable adults to be supported.
  • Covid-19 Welfare platform enables most vulnerable across Essex to register a request for support and allows volunteers to register offers of help.
  • Developed by Priority Digital Health in partnership with Provide CIC and commissioned by Essex County Council.
  • The Priority Platform is hosted inside the HSCN Network as standard, with one of the leading hosting providers in the UK.

Fast-growing digital provider, Priority Digital Health, have developed and launched a new platform in response to the COVID-19 crisis – within the space of week.

The Covid-19 Welfare platform, designed by the Cambridge-based firm, enables the most vulnerable across Essex to register a request for support and allows volunteers to register their offer of help. Health and social care professionals can then match the volunteers to the requests for support via the platform.

As well as building the platform, the team at Priority Digital Health has trained 350 call handlers and 3500+ volunteers on how to use the system. The Covid-19 Welfare platform is now available to be customised for similar services and can be mobilised with 72 hours.

Alison Meadows, Joint Chief Executive of Priority Digital Health, said: This crisis has brought into sharp focus the opportunity for digital solutions to get help to the most vulnerable people in our communities, whilst relieving the pressure on our health sector. The new Covid-19 Welfare platform is truly a local service for local residents and we’re proud that 400,000 vulnerable adults will be supported as a result”.

The Service, commissioned by Essex County Council and delivered by Provide CIC in partnership with Priority Digital Health, is designed for people who are without the support of family, friends or neighbours. The aim is to quickly and safely co-ordinate requests and referrals for support from vulnerable people in Essex and connect them to a fully vetted volunteer who wants to help their community during this difficult time.

The platform, which also delivers a remote stop smoking service and other community services, uses the HSCN Network as standard, one of the most secure hosting providers in the UK. It also has a special high traffic hosting solution in place, which can handle a whole population approach tested for 1.5 million residents across Essex.

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Covid-19 Welfare Platform helping the most vulnerable

1/04/2020

Covid-19 Welfare Platform helping the most vulnerable

No one could have predicted the scale and speed of how the Coronavirus has changed everyone’s lives and the role of digital has never been so relevant, keeping us connected and engaged with colleagues and clients and enabling a semblance of ‘business as usual’ in these extraordinary times.

The crisis has also brought into sharp focus the opportunity for digital solutions to get help to where it’s needed most – the most vulnerable people in our communities. Keeping people safe, as well as physically and mentally well during the coronavirus pandemic, is the highest priority for public health.

One of the powers of digital is that solutions can be swiftly identified and developed to meet changing needs in health and social care and to respond to urgent situations and we have just launched a platform in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Covid-19 Welfare Platform enables requests for support for the most vulnerable to be registered and it also has a volunteer registration page. Health and social care professionals are matching the volunteers to the requests for support via the Platform. We developed and launched this new online service within a week.

The Government announced its vision for digital healthcare technology in October 2018 but it feels like 2020 is the year it comes of age. The vision highlighted the need for a more joined up health and social care system, access to real time data, and systems which can talk to one another.

Digital technology today is giving health and care providers, including local authorities, strategic transformation partnerships and clinical commissioning groups, the endless possibilities of this joined up approach.

New healthy lifestyle websites, with social prescribing being an integral part, are providing an efficient, cost effective gateway for services which put patients more in control of their health and wellbeing.

For providers working together to manage and refer patients effectively across the system, digital is giving them interoperability for seamless patient management. They also have access to rich data which helps them accurately measure and report patient outcomes and therefore better plan future provision.

Importantly, these new platforms are reducing the pressures on overstretched GP Practices and NHS hospitals because the focus is on prevention, putting people at the heart of their health and wellbeing.

Giving people access to services online where they can self-refer and connect with services, whether it’s volunteering or accessing support when socially isolated, smoking cessation, weight management or to book education courses for conditions like diabetes, has enormous potential for patient-led integration of health and social care.

Alison Meadows, Joint Chief Executive of Priority Digital Health

ENDS

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