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Technology piloted to help older patients in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 10 January 2020

Carers and patients are guided through the test by an app. Picture: Healthy.io.

Carers and patients are guided through the test by an app. Picture: Healthy.io.

Healthy.io

Three pilots are under way to help older patients in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

A Healthy.io urine test kit. Picture: Healthy.io.A Healthy.io urine test kit. Picture: Healthy.io.

The goal is to improve care, prevent illness and better manage chronic diseases through a new piece of technology.

It allows people to check 10 factors through an at-home urine test that uses a patient's smartphone camera. A dipstick is used to run the test and the camera processes the result, giving answers there and then.

It's designed to cover things like infections and chronic illnesses.

The scheme is a partnership between the NHS's North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), the Barking community interest company Care City and the Tel Aviv-based company Healthy.io.

A Healthy.io urine test kit. Picture: Healthy.io.A Healthy.io urine test kit. Picture: Healthy.io.

Hannah Harniess is Care City's deputy chief executive.

She said: "Technology which can help GPs, carers and nurses more accurately monitor and manage the health of their patients and provide pro-active and rapid treatment and support, can not only reduce cost burdens on the NHS, but improve health outcomes for the patient."

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People with long-term conditions are significant users of both health and social care services: for every £10 spent on those services, around £7 is spent on people with long-term conditions, according to the Department of Health.

They account for half of all GP appointments, 64 per cent of hospital outpatient appointments and 70 per cent of all inpatient bed days.

That all adds up to 70 per cent of the NHS's funding being used by 30 per cent of the population.

One of the pilot schemes is training paid carers to use the urine dipstick, aiming to give GPs better data on their patients to improve treatment.

In another trial, four GP practices are using the Healthy.io kits to screen for chronic kidney disease.

A Care City spokeswoman said in a statement that screening could prevent 11,376 cases of end-stage kidney disease, citing a study by the consultants the York Health Economics Consortium.

NELFT nurses are also using the technology to explore new ways to look after wounds.

While results from these pilots are expected in March, that could be extended to September, according to the same Care City spokeswoman.

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