Date: 15th March 2023, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, UK
Respiratory diseases are a major factor in winter pressures faced by the NHS: hospital admissions for respiratory disease are three times as likely as those for all other causes. Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is a key intervention in the NHS Long Term Plan, which has made respiratory disease — and its impact on people's quality of life and physical functioning — a national clinical priority.
Most patients that take up PR have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but other patients with long-term lung conditions, such as bronchiectasis and pulmonary fibrosis, can also benefit.
Aseptika¹ is collaborating with Harefield Hospital², Anglia Ruskin University’s Medical Technology Research Centre³ and SoWhat? Consultancy⁴ Ltd to conduct a real-world validation in both community and hospital-based settings for a technology-enabled hybrid service for PR, to increase affordability, uptake and service capacity.
The Active⁺me REMOTE Pulmonary Rehabilitation is NHS DTAC certified and the only PR programme to include Smart Inhaler Trackers that are CE and UKCA marked. The aim is to increase medication adherence, access and automate delivery of education and exercise supporting the shortage of skilled healthcare staff, whilst retaining some in-person contact.
Dr Kevin Auton, Managing Director, Aseptika, said: “Even before the pandemic, there was a shortage of PR services and during lock-down, fewer attended clinic due to having an “at risk” status and more were treated at home. Now, post-pandemic, there is lower capacity because of distancing requirements and shortage of staff. We believe that delivering a hybrid programme, which commences with initial in-person classes and then supports a move to a remotely delivered service. The aim is to enable more service capacity for patients to access PR, reduce workforce pressures, assist for groups within society that suffer health inequalities because they may have to return to work or live in isolated areas, are unable to afford transport, are themselves caring for a relative, do not have English as their first language or do not like exercising in mixed sex classes. This will also include our PUFFClicker Smart Inhalers Trackers to help remind patients to take their inhaler medications prescribed to them.
Funding from SBRI Healthcare in this Phase 3 award has enabled us to appoint Jacqueline Sylvester, a Band 6 Pulmonary Rehabilitation Physiotherapist with over 10 years of experience in delivering PR to patients, to support the NHS PR team at Harefield Hospital implement and then deliver this new service”.
Jacqueline Sylvester, commented: “I have worked in both hospital and community settings to deliver PR programmes to patients in Cambridgeshire. It is an exciting step for me to join Aseptika as their Healthcare Services Support Lead for PR and to work closely with and alongside the amazing PR team at Harefield’s hospital as we support patients from a wide range of backgrounds, learn to self-manage their respiratory conditions”.
Professor William Man, consultant chest physician at Harefield Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be the lead clinical partner in this exciting project. Harefield Hospital is at the forefront of pulmonary rehabilitation clinical practice and research and we look forward to testing this technology to see whether it meets the needs of our patients and our service delivery requirements”.
Professor Graham Ball, Professor of Bioinformatics and Director of the Medical Technology Research Centre at Anglia Ruskin University, added: “This is an exciting project that could significantly improve the quality of life of people living with respiratory diseases as well as deliver significant savings to the NHS. ARU has a strong reputation for using AI in healthcare and carrying out clinical trials and will use this expertise to assist the project”.
Lindsey Cook, Health Economic Consultant from So What, commented: “Being awarded this Phase 3 competition will support Aseptika to gain the real-world evidence needed for NHS commissioners to make purchasing recommendations with the aim to benefit patients and the community. I look forward to demonstrating the improvements in quality of life and healthcare benefits for patients via the introduction of this digital technology alongside in-person PR”.
¹ Dr Kevin Auton, Managing Director, Aseptika Ltd.
² Dr William Man consultant chest physician based at Harefield Hospital and reader in respiratory medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.
³ Prof. Graham Ball, Director Anglia Ruskin University’s Medical Technology Research Centre (ARU-MTRC), Founder-CSO Intelligent Omics.
⁴ Lindsey Cook, Founder SoWhat? Consultancy Ltd.
Caption: The Active+me REMOTE Pulmonary Rehabilitation App dashboard for patients with respiratory conditions.
Activ8rlives, Activ8rlives.com, Asthma⁺me, Active⁺me REMOTE and PUFFClicker are trademarks of Aseptika Ltd.
For further details, please contact Jessica Auton on +44 (0)1480 352 821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aseptika Ltd www.activ8rlives.com
Aseptika Ltd began developing Activ8rlives in 2010 and is currently developing its fourth generation of integrated systems, which can be used by consumers and their healthcare service providers using a wide range of platforms or devices to better enable effective and easy self-monitoring. Incorporating sensors and monitors ranging from consumer accessories to in vitro diagnostics (IVDs). Our focus is: respiratory and cardiovascular disease, cancer, promoting physical activity and weight management. Aseptika Limited has been certified by BSI to ISO 13485:2016 under certificate number MD691414.
Harefield Hospital https://www.rbht.nhs.uk/
Harefield Hospital and Royal Brompton Hospital are part of the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK. Also, part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, these two specialist hospitals have an international reputation for expertise, high standards of care and research success. They treat patients from all age groups with heart and lung problems and provide some of the most complex and sophisticated care available anywhere in the world.
Over the years, both Harefield and Royal Brompton have been responsible for major medical breakthroughs, such as performing Europe’s first combined heart and lung transplant, establishing the UK’s first adult service for cystic fibrosis and pioneering the use of stents for the treatment of heart attacks.
For further information about pulmonary rehabilitation at Harefield Hospital, visit https://www.rbht.nhs.uk/our-services/lung/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease/pulmonary-rehabilitation-harefield-hospital
Medical Technology Research Centre (ARU-MTRC) www.aru.ac.uk/medical-technology-research-centre
The Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC) is the innovation, impact and collaboration hub of ARU in medical technologies, life sciences and clinical research.
The Medical Technology Research Centre research laboratories are located on ARU's Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses.
With a total space of over 1,300 m2 and equipped with the latest technology and containment level 2 environment, our labs offer an ideal space for cutting-edge research and innovation. Our researchers have also access to clinical research environment in our partner NHS Trust Hospitals.
SBRI Healthcare www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk
This work was commissioned and funded by SBRI Healthcare. SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative, in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). The views expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of SBRI Healthcare or its stakeholders.
SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative funded initiative that provides funding to innovators to develop solutions that tackle existing unmet needs faced by the NHS. The programme aims to improve patient care, increase efficiency in the NHS and support the UK economy. The SBRI Healthcare team, through support from the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff.
Accelerated Access Collaborative www.england.nhs.uk/aac
The Accelerated Access Collaborative is a unique partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS. It delivers ambitious programmes to ensure the NHS is in the best place to improve patient outcomes and reduce health inequalities through research and innovation. It does this by identifying the best new medicines, medical devices, diagnostics and digital products. It supports providers and integrated care systems to make them available to patients as quickly as possible. In addition, the AAC supports increasing participation in research and access to research trials. Over 1.6 million patients have benefited from its programmes to date, helping patients spend over 278,000 fewer days in hospital and saving the NHS over £185 million.
AHSN Network www.ahsnnetwork.com
There are 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to spread innovation at pace and scale – improving health and generating economic growth. Each AHSN works across a distinct geography serving a different population in each region. As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, AHSNs are catalysts that create the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients.