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Innovative projects on awards shortlist

Posted: 22nd January 2019

Three innovative companies supported by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) have been shortlisted in a prestigious national awards programme.

The companies are Healthcare Communications, DocAbode and Tookie – and they have each been shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Awards.

Healthcare Communications is shortlisted in the Patient Digital Participation Award category and is a technology company focused on patient communications. Its digital innovation enables appointment letters and information to be sent directly to patients’ smartphones. The service is available in 99 languages, making it instantly accessible. Digital letters save on postal costs and staff time – Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has seen a 48% saving in postal costs after implementing digital appointment letters. It also reduces the number of missed appointments as the digital letter is sent straight to a smartphone instead of potentially being lost in the post.

As part of its package of support for the company, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN hosted an engagement event to introduce Healthcare Communications to other Trusts in the region enabling spread of its innovation. The AHSN also supported Healthcare Communications in establishing an office in Leeds, providing the company with a greater presence in the region and contributing to job creation.

DocAbode is shortlisted in the Workforce Innovation Category and is a platform that enables requests for out of hours home visits to be responded to by clinicians based on their availability, proximity and expertise.

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has supported Dr Taz Aldawoud and the development of DocAbode for a number of years, having first supported him on the AHSN’s Proof of Concept programme in 2016. The AHSN has subsequently supported the development of Doc Abode with pathway modelling, trials and a successful application to SBRI Healthcare’s GP of the Future call.

The Tookie Vest is shortlisted in the Medical Device or Hardware Innovation Award. The vest is a patient and clinician driven innovation, designed to support patients fitted with a Central Venous Catheter (CVC). The Tookie Vest helps to prevent catheter displacement and also helps patients to continue to live ‘#ALifeMoreNormal’ as the vest helps to discretely secure the lines, offering modesty and dignity, freedom, independence and reassurance.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN first became aware of Tookie, a medical device company, when it was developing its Tookie Vest for paediatric oncology. The AHSN supported Tookie with seed funding to enable it to undertake further development work, commission technical drawings and build its website.

The AHSN has since further supported Tookie through the designs of further iterations of the Tookie Vest for renal dialysis patients and respiratory patients.

Sophie Bates, Programme Manager for the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: ‘’It is great to see that Tookie, Healthcare Communications and Doc Abode have been recognised for their contribution to healthcare innovation by being shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards. Each has a unique offer with the potential to contribute to patient safety, to the patient experience, and to increased efficiencies within the NHS.”