Posted on July 26, 2016 by staff

Florence is text-book tech for reducing hospital admissions


BusinessCloud is counting down the technology which could save your life this week and next.

Telecom-based tech is looking to reduce hospital admissions and keep people in their homes for longer.

Florence is a system that allows users to text in using their mobile phones, rather than paying for expensive equipment.

A tool created by corporate SMS provider MediaBurst after being approached by Stoke-on-Trent PCT in 2010, Florence aims to be a flexible system which can encourage users to take more of an active role in their health and allow clinicians to easily monitor their patients.

Unlike many other technological advances, it does not require a smartphone or a knowledge of apps – all it needs is a basic phone with the ability to send and receive text messages.

Users are enrolled by their doctor or nurse, who will decide if the system is suitable for them. The patient is then sent text messages with either alerts or a request for a reading.

The data received is displayed in a simple interface for the medical staff, who can easily monitor readings.

A variety of conditions can be monitored including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes and hypertension and the tool can also be used to submit readings of blood pressure, body temperature and weight, and send appointment reminders.

Florence is now used by more than 70 health and care organisations including NHS trusts, health boards and clinical commissioning groups.

Josh, a diabetes sufferer from Mansfield, said: “My hospital admissions went down from 48 to just under 12 and that was in the first year of using Flo, so she has made me feel a lot more in control of my diabetes.

“If she can change my life, she can change anyone’s life.”

Wearable devices could save the NHS billions in the years to come.

Alf from Silksworth uses the system to monitor his asbestosis caused by working in a shipyard, which has reduced his lung capacity to less than 40 per cent.

“I weigh myself, I take the blood pressure and then I take my oxygen,” he said.

“Then I text them and within about a minute I get a text back from Flo.

“If there’s anything out of the parameters then a matron would contact me.”

We reported on Monday how Skin Analytics is a tool which aims to improve the survival rate for melanoma skin cancer by providing users with a low-cost way to identify moles which could be cancerous.

Then there is Pankaj Chandak, who became the first in the world to use 3D printing to plan for a paediatric kidney transplant in November of last year.

And we also brought you the incredible story of Dr Jack Kreindler, who is using technology to fight cancer.