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The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Babylon to Create the World's First Integrated Digital Health System

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Babylon to Create the World’s First Integrated Digital Health System to Serve the City’s Population

Date of release: 23 January 2020

  • 10-year partnership to deliver joined-up care to the entire population of the city of Wolverhampton
  • Convenient, remote access to GPs and hospital specialists at times that suit patients
  • Live monitoring of patients with chronic conditions, and personalised care plans underpinned by Babylon’s Artificial Intelligence
  • All available through a single, free app for maximum convenience and to avoid unnecessary travel

Health systems around the world are battling with issues of accessibility and affordability of healthcare, whilst facing ever-rising levels of chronic disease and severe workforce shortages. To tackle this The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) and Babylon are launching a 10-year partnership to develop a new healthcare delivery model of ‘Digital-First Integrated Care’, for 300,000 people across Wolverhampton and its surrounding areas.

Patients will get greater control over their own health, faster treatment, fewer trips to hospital, treatment from their own home and greater access to their own data. Staff will have time freed-up for patients with the most urgent and complex issues, avoid duplication, and improve information-sharing.

Through a single, free app, patients will have connected primary and secondary care with access to:

  • Clinical consultations with The Royal Wolverhampton and Babylon doctors and specialist nurses, whilst also giving patients control of appointment booking and prescriptions
  • Personal Clinical Records, which allow patients to see their own medical information and watch their consultations again
  • Health Assessment, which creates a health report based on a user’s medical history and lifestyle and displays it with a ‘digital twin’
  • AI Health Assistant, which gives users medical information and triage advice, based on epidemiological data, about their symptoms
  • Health Management, which generates personalised care plans to support the proactive care of patients with chronic diseases
  • Monitor, which can use real-time health information from wearable tech and connected apps
  • Rehab following hospital admission, with fast remote clinical responses to help recovery and avoid readmissions
  • The first new services are expected to go live before the end of 2020.
Trust Chief Executive David Loughton, CBE, said:

“I am delighted to announce this long-term partnership with Babylon who will work alongside the Trust’s primary, secondary and community care teams to deliver transformational changes to the way we deliver care.

“We know from our active engagement with patients of all ages and backgrounds that they are keen to use technology that will improve access and give them greater control of their own health, wellbeing and social inclusion. For example, it should be normal for a patient with a long-term condition to take a blood-test at home, have the results fed into their app which alerts the specialist if they need an appointment. The patient chooses a time to meet, has the consultation through the app, works with their specialist to build a care plan, and the app encourages them to complete it whilst assessing the impact it’s having. This is our vision for properly joined-up and integrated care.

“We also know from our engagement with clinicians that releasing time to care for our sickest patients is a top priority and there is consensus that this could be facilitated by technology, if we partner with the best and work collaboratively and openly. This partnership with Babylon is rooted in clinical and patient co-design and we recognise that we are going on a journey together to transform our care delivery and our workforce.

“Workforce is the biggest challenge facing healthcare in the NHS and internationally. In the next ten years the gap between staff needed and the number available could reach almost 250,000 just in England. As medicine transforms over the next 10 years, and cutting-edge technology improves, it is critical that the NHS develops a digitally empowered workforce. With the Trust’s end-to-end care portfolio this is a huge opportunity for us and Babylon to constructively tackle all of these things together.

“I am confident that this won’t be just good for our patients, it will benefit the wider NHS through early prevention, treatment and the sharing of our learning.”

Now RWT patients and staff will use Babylon’s cutting-edge technology to manage care, and Babylon’s national network of clinicians will increase the number of staff available to look after patients. Babylon will be bringing accurate symptom checking, video consultations, real-time monitoring of diseases through apps and wearables and 24/7 digital support to aid recovery. The partnership with RWT will mean frontline staff can combine with the latest AI to provide anticipatory care.

Ali Parsa, CEO and Founder of Babylon, said:

“We are extremely proud of this exciting 10-year partnership with RWT which will benefit patients and the NHS as a whole. We have over 1,000 AI experts, clinicians, engineers and scientists who will be helping to make Digital-First Integrated Care a reality and provide fast, effective, proactive care to patients. Together with RWT, we can demonstrate this works and help the NHS lead healthcare across the world.”


***ENDS***

Notes to Editor

  • For more information, please contact Sally Evans, Head of Communications at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust on +44 (0)1902 447299 or via sally.evans17@nhs.net

    The Royal Wolverhampton Trust is one of the largest acute and community providers in the West Midlands having more than 850 beds on the New Cross site, 56 rehabilitation beds at West Park Hospital and 54 beds at Cannock Chase Hospital.

    RWT is the largest employer in Wolverhampton, the Trust employs more than 9,400 staff, covering more than 350 different roles.

    RWT provide services from the following locations;
    • New Cross Hospital - secondary and tertiary services, maternity, Accident and Emergency, critical care and outpatients
    • West Park Hospital - rehabilitation inpatient and day care services, therapy services and outpatients
    • Cannock Chase Hospital - general surgery, orthopaedics, breast surgery, urology, dermatology/plastic surgery and medical day case investigations and treatment (including endoscopy, rheumatology and dermatology)
    • More than 20 community sites - community services for children and adults, walk-in centres and therapy and rehabilitation services
    • Primary care - Ten GP practices have now joined us and offer extended opening hours to patients

  • Babylon is a globally-leading technology company with the ambitious mission to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on Earth.

    We combine technology and medical expertise to bring doctors and people closer together. Through a range of digital services - such as AI-backed digital health tools and video doctor appointments - we give people round-the-clock access to affordable (often free) holistic healthcare services. We work with governments, health providers and insurers across the globe, and support healthcare facilities from small local practices to large hospitals.

    Our AI is designed to empower people with knowledge about their health and help relieve pressure on clinicians. It mimics the way a doctor operates, performing some of the cognitive tasks they carry out, such as interpreting, reasoning, decision-making and learning.

    We have over 3.6 million users and have completed over 1.2 million consultations globally. Some of our partners include the NHS, Samsung, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Bupa. For more stats and information see our Press Kit

    For more information, please contact Ed Sykes, PR & Comms Lead at Babylon on +44 (0)7966 081 090 or via ed.sykes@babylonhealth.com

 

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