Active+me is a programme that combines group exercise classes, health coaching, peer support, PAM (Patient Activation Measure) monitoring and teaching patients how to use Aseptika – Activ8rlives self-care monitoring technology to track their health and wellbeing. The data can also be reviewed remotely by health and care professionals, helping to identify deterioration in conditions more quickly than traditional methods of support.
The programme supports falls prevention (strength/balance), cardiac, cancer and pulmonary rehabilitation, but is replicable across multiple long-term conditions. There is strong evidence demonstrating that exercise can improve or maintain health for all forms of long-term condition. For those diagnosed, once acute treatment by the NHS has ceased, participants have limited support until they become acutely unwell or frail and then the costs to the health and care system escalate.
Aseptika’s CEO, Kevin Auton, explains how the Active+me programme works:
“We provide people with the Activ8rlives’ simple-to-use, self-care monitoring devices to monitor physical activity, heart rate, blood pressure, weight and other vital signs. The data is transmitted to the Activ8rlives platform which enables people to review their health and supply this information to their care providers as required. As this is combined with specifically tailored group exercise classes, peer support and clinical guidance – we have seen extremely effective results for people.”
“As a family, we suffer from asthma and our eldest daughter has lupus, so we manage various long term conditions. It’s more than just a business to us, we share experiences with the people we are supporting.”
The Eastern AHSN has supported relationship building between Aseptika Ltd, Huntingdonshire Community Cancer Network (HCCN), Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Huntingdonshire District Council in a collaborative project using the Active+me programme to support cancer rehabilitation.
- £1m SBRI Healthcare funding and proactive, long term support from the Eastern AHSN.
- Approx. 15 million people in the UK living with long term conditions (LTCs) and the cost to the NHS is close to 70% of its overall budget.
- Evidence shows that just a one-point change in activation can result in a 1.7% reduction in likely hospitalisation for someone with a LTC.
- The intervention can delay the need for adult social care services by 4 years (delaying costs per person of £23,000 -£46,000).
Following on from phase III hospital classes, delivered by a specialist oncology nurse personal trainer, the Eastern AHSN-supported collaboration has seen the programme expand to phase IV (community-based classes delivered by Physical Activity Specialists) reaching more people during or living beyond cancer treatment.
“One of the biggest contributions that the Eastern AHSN made was providing a small amount of funding to ‘prime the pump’, to purchase equipment to run our classes at a time when it was really revolutionary. The Eastern AHSN brought the organisations together, built our credibility with NHS teams, trained staff and maintained momentum in making change happen. Now we are focused on sustainability, encouraging consultants to continue to refer people on to the programme – this is the current challenge.
As part of the Eastern AHSN’s support, Kevin and his team have also been provided with access to promote Aseptika’s products at a wide range of health sector events, for example the annual NHS England Innovation Expo and SBRI Healthcare Alumni events.
According to the Kings Fund, an estimated 15 million people in the UK are living with long term conditions (LTCs) and the cost to the NHS is close to 70% of its overall budget. The intervention can delay the need for adult social care services by 4 years (delaying costs per person of £23,000 -£46,000). The projects have also shown that they improve patient activation with patients on average increasing their activation score by 16%, reducing need for professional health services including admission to hospital.
“The Active+me projects have already demonstrated that we have increased PAM by 15%. We have also picked up prescription errors, poor medication adherence, and avoided a mini stroke turning into a major stroke. We only have to avoid one hospital admission for the programme to pay for itself over the life of one patient for 10 years,” Kevin explains.
To coincide with National Self-Care Week, the Eastern AHSN worked with Aseptika to produce a six-step guide to help other health and care providers adopt and implement the Active+me programme. As well as supporting cancer rehabilitation, Active+me has been adapted for those with cardiac conditions. The same model of care is used, but the exercise techniques and monitoring activities have been carefully tailored to benefit people who have experienced cardiac issues. The programme can be adapted to support many other LTCs such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and so on.
“SBRI Healthcare and the Eastern AHSN run possibly the most innovative of any of the funding competitions. SBRI Healthcare is recognised as being one of the best programmes for SMEs in the Medtech sector. Funding is provided well enough in advance to help you move very quickly – this is hugely important. Due diligence is thorough but easy to get through, application forms and reports are short and easy to complete. SBRI Healthcare management of projects is nimble and agile, which is what small companies need.”
Aseptika’s products and the associated Active+me programme have huge potential for adoption and spread throughout the UK. “We have been working with other AHSNs in other regions such as Yorkshire and Humber for projects in Sheffield, Leeds and the West Midlands. They have been very helpful in taking the learning and transplanting into their own areas,” explains Kevin.
Aseptika is also focussing beyond the UK to grow the business: “In five years-time, we want to be successfully listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM (Alternative Investment Market). Export is now the biggest target for us and we will be attending our first international trade shows early in 2019. Initially we are focussing on the Middle East, then Australia, and the USA,” he explains. “Without the SBRI Healthcare and the Eastern AHSN, we wouldn’t be delivering new product solutions in partnership with an NHS Trust this year, followed by international introductions into the Middle East at Arab Health in early 2019,” Kevin adds.
“When you are told that you have a life-threatening condition, it damages both your confidence and self-esteem. The Active+me programme brought back my confidence. Our involvement with this has given us back our lives, and with all the walking I do, my dogs must be the fittest in Cambridgeshire!”
Colin, cancer patient and participant in the Active+ programme
“It has made me feel much more secure about my health, I can print out the data and take it to the next doctor’s appointment instead of having to remember how I’ve been feeling, it’s all there in black and white. I am sure that doing this programme will keep us all going for a lot longer. I hope that by looking at the charts, we won’t have to go back into hospital.”
Maggie, a cardiac patient participating in the Active+ programme
“Caring for people long term, after their treatment on the NHS, is only going to increase. We have a system at the moment that isn’t working efficiently, we’re going to try to do more and innovation has to be the answer. What is being done here could act as a blueprint for other organisations to use.”
Dr Adam McGeoch, Consultant Oncologist, Hinchingbrooke Hospital, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
“The NHS provides an excellent level of treatment for people with long term conditions and is working with patient groups, the voluntary sector, and the general public to identify innovative, effective and efficient means of delivering joined-up services. This will work in various different ways, according to the needs of different parts of the country. Utilising resources available in the community to keep us healthy is the way forward. I am proud that here in the Huntingdon constituency we have projects like Active+me that are leading the way and helping people live longer, healthier lives.”
Jonathan Djanogly MP, Huntingdon