Broomwell's advanced ECG monitoring device is one of three innovative medical technologies to be reviewed in the first wave of the project, and was unveiled at the launch event in Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery. The Hub will examine how the technologies can be put into practice in the quickest, most effective way to improve NHS productivity by lowering the cost and operational burden on acute and emergency care providers.
A key benefit of the service to patients is that diagnosis is carried out locally by their general practitioner (GP), removing the need to travel elsewhere for testing. Furthermore GPs have the results in minutes, rather then waiting the usual two-week period, meaning they can detect any problems at an earlier stage, and provide timely and preventative care.
The Broomwell service is available 24/7 and using cardiac telemedicine alongside other conventional methods of evaluation delivers a fast and accurate diagnosis, reassuring the majority of patients that their chest pain symptoms are not indicative of any immediate threatening condition, thus preventing unnecessary hospital visits, whilst those in immediate danger are transferred to definitive care.
Joshua Rowe, managing director for Broomwell HealthWatch, commented: "We are delighted to be part of this initiative and to be recognised as a key component in improving NHS productivity. Data from a recent six-month pilot and our own research has proven that our cardiac monitoring service maintains patients' health, saves lives and significantly reduces the operational and financial burden on secondary care."
"Broomwell's cardiac monitoring service provides non-specialist GPs with immediate expert cardiac diagnostic support over the telephone and is a proven cost-effective measure delivering real benefits to trusts and patients where implemented. It has dramatically cut the number of people having to go to hospital for symptoms of chest pain and has the potential to transform the standard of cardiac care up and down the country", added Joshua Rowe.
A six-month pilot of cardiac telemedicine services in the Northwest has demonstrated the potential to save 90.000 A&E visits, 45.000 hospital admissions and hundreds of lives each year in England. The pilot received an overwhelming positive patient feedback as avoiding unnecessary hospital visits coupled with the convenience of the service, significantly reduced patient stress levels, anxiety and tension.
The pilot also demonstrated a substantial financial gain for the NHS. Results estimated that by simply cutting unnecessary hospital admissions and A&E visits for symptoms of chest pain, savings to the NHS from using telemedical ECG tests are GBP 46 million per year - Broomwell believe savings of GBP 250 million per year are achievable.
Broomwell's own data has shown that from over 7000 calls taken from GP surgeries in the past 18 months, 89 percent of even symptomatic patients were managed and reassured by their local GP and did not need hospitalisation. Without the ECG service at least 50 percent of those would have been referred.
Margaret Parton, CEO of the National Technology Hub, added: "The purpose of the National Technology Adoption Hub is to streamline and speed up the process of check-ups, referrals and consultations to benefit the patients and the NHS. The Hub will work with host trusts to review adoption of the technologies and gain greater understanding of the challenges and benefits of adoption at all levels across the NHS."
Broomwell Healthwatch gives GPs and other health care professionals access to immediate, expert interpretation of ECGs by experienced cardiology-trained clinicians. Broomwell's hand-held 12-lead ECG machine is used by a nurse, clinician or paramedic in the same way as a conventional machine. When the ECG is complete, it is transmitted as a sound signal by landline telephone or by fax in just 45 seconds to Broomwell's monitoring centre, where it is displayed on screen for interpretation by experienced clinicians.
Based on the high-quality ECG trace, Broomwell staff give an immediate verbal interpretation by phone so that action can be taken quickly, if needed. A full written ECG report is also sent to the GP surgery by e-mail or fax for inclusion in the patient record. Because constant communication with the patient's doctor, nurse or paramedic is maintained during the test, the quality of patient care is high.
BroomWell Healthwatch was established in 2004 to provide telemedical monitoring services to GPs, Walk-in Centres, Community Hospitals and private individuals. Broomwell's solutions include the wristwatch-like MiniClinic, which is linked to the company's monitoring centre by a home base station, 12-lead portable ECGs, and weight control solutions for congestive heart failure. These are supported by Broomwell's 24-hour cardiac monitoring centre, which is staffed by experienced cardiology-trained clinicians giving immediate, expert interpretation of ECGs.