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COVID-19: How tech companies in Yorkshire have responded

Here is a look at some of the initiatives launched to help minimise the impact of COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for health systems around the world. In the UK and not only, we have seen tech companies rally to help citizens and health and care providers cope with the increasing pressures now faced, as the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow.

techUK members Babylon, LIVI and Doctorlink have introduced new services to help meet patient needs, while Elsevier has granted free access to a COVID-19 Information Centre and Clinical Toolkit to support public health authorities, researchers and clinicians as they work to put an end to the pandemic.

However, one would be mistaken to think that all the work is happening in London, Oxford or Cambridge. According to the most recent statistics from the Office for Life Sciences, Yorkshire and Humber was one of the top regions for digital health employment in 2018 – indeed, along with London and the South East. Together, they employ 60% of the sector. Med tech also has a strong presence in major cities in the Midlands and Yorkshire, including Leeds.

Here’s a look at some of the initiatives that we’ve seen in recent weeks in the region.

New services, initiatives and partnerships

Harrogate-based techUK member Inhealthcare has developed a suite of digital health services that aim to minimise the impact of COVID-19. This week, it announced the launch of Weldmar Connect, a service that helps nurses in the palliative care sector remotely monitor patients in the community and prioritise those needing urgent care, created in a partnership with Weldmar Hospicecare.

EMIS Health has rolled out an existing video consultation software to over 4,000 GP practices in England. This is an area that has seen rapid change during the past several weeks, as health services have turned to remote consultations in order to reduce the risk of infection for staff, patients and citizens.

BJSS has also helped to deliver video consultations through the GP IT Futures programme and developed and deployed the Fit Note Solution that allows those self-isolating to provide the proof needed for their employers without having to go to a GP practice.

Tunstall is offering a wellbeing call service to support the vulnerable people that need to shield themselves by quarantining for 12 weeks, in addition to a number of Connected Care and Health Solutions that can form part of the response to COVID-19.

TPP has partnered with the Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre at Oxford University to run clinical trials of medicines that could reduce the duration and severity of COVID-19. The collaboration will enable GPs using TPP’s SystmOne electronic health record system to recruit patients for trials and access information entered by participants using TPP’s patient-facing Airmid app.

Health and Social Care Industry Dinner

At techUK, Leeds is also our first choice for the first Health and Social Care Industry Dinner outside London, which will take place on 23 September 2020. You can find out more information about it here, as well as the partner events with Mindwave and mHabitat and the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network organised ahead of the Dinner.

At the moment, we are working to support our members throughout this period. Please visit the COVID-19 Information Hub for the latest information and guidance.


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