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Three new digital health products, developed in Professor Tarassenko’s research group at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering in collaboration with clinical colleagues in the Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust over the past seven years, promise significant improvements in patient health outcomes and reduced costs for the NHS.

The products will be commercialised by Drayson Technologies. They are:

SEND: a system for vital-sign observations in hospital patients (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation and temperature) and risk score estimation, which has enhanced the clinical care of over 80,000 patients over the past two years. As well as improving individual patient care, the SEND system allows information about patients to be shared between different wards. This ensures quicker decision-making and allows cross-linking with other patient data. On many wards, patients are now prioritised during the ward round according to their latest risk score.

GDm-health: an app and back-end system for the management of diabetes in pregnant women, tested in over 1,000 patients, which showed a 25% reduction in clinic visits, when evaluated at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. This system comprises a smartphone app (now available for both the iOS and Android operating systems), with a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, for the patient; and a secure website, with optimised data presentation and alerting algorithms for healthcare professionals.

EDGE-COPD: a software system for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, developed with support from the Department of Health and Wellcome Trust through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, which showed a 17% reduction in hospital admissions during a 12-month clinical trial. This system makes use of the latest generation of computer tablets to enable COPD sufferers to complete patient diaries, respond early to worsening symptoms, and receive support from a respiratory nurse guided by prioritisation algorithms. This leads to improved self-management and a higher quality of life for these patients, with a reduction in the number of unplanned and costly hospital admissions.