A new partnership is set to optimise the identification of people at risk of osteoporotic fracture.

The joint working project between UCB and Open Medical aims to automate data collection for fracture liaison services using Open Medical’s cloud-based Pathpoint software.

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There are 116 fracture liaison services in the UK which exist to systematically identify people aged 50 and older who have had a ‘fragility fracture’, with the aim of reducing their risk of further fractures. 

Currently 27.6% of people who have fractured are identified to FLS and assessed for future fracture – this project aims to increase this number and improve outcomes for patients at risk of further fracture due to osteoporosis.

3.5 million people have osteoporosis in the UK and a fracture is often the first sign of their condition. One in two women and one in five men over 50 will break a bone due to poor bone health and one in five women who break a bone, break three or more bones before a diagnosis of osteoporosis. These fractures can be life-changing for people, commonly leading to loss of mobility and independence, social isolation and depression.

They are also costly – it is estimated that fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis cost the NHS £4.5 billion every year.

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The project will support six FLS services within NHS Trusts by funding a digital pathway tool that helps with finding, enabling standardised assessments and communicating with patients in an automated way. 

The benefits include more patients with fractures identified for assessment of future bone health, more timely assessments and regular checks to ensure any treatment recommendations are being followed. 

“We are delighted to collaborate with Open Medical on this important project. It is our ambition to develop meaningful partnerships that go above and beyond the usual transactional business model, to achieve better outcomes for patients and healthcare systems and we believe this collaboration has the potential to achieve this in osteoporosis,” said Claire Brading, area head UCB UK & Ireland.

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Michael Shenouda, chief commercial officer at Open Medical, added: “We have embarked on a unique venture by partnering with UCB to enhance data capture for the prevention of fragility fractures. 

“Collectively we aim to improve the identification and assessment of those at risk of fracture, ultimately positively impacting their wellbeing.”