Virtual Clinic

Crafting and building a mobile app & back-end infrastructure for joint development of the Virtual Clinic App, otherwise known as ‘Poo Fighter’ product between we and Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Getting children to discuss chronic constipation, anorectal malformation or Hirschsprung’s Disease can be difficult to say the least, whilst at the same time challenges around recording information is exacerbated due to the patient age and the nature of the problem. The platform encouraged patients with long-term paediatric conditions to input their symptoms onto a smartphone, sending them to a database for review by clinicians.

This allows clinicians to monitor the symptoms of patients when the symptoms actually occur and provide parents or a young person with immediate feedback on how their lifestyle or treatment impacts on their symptoms. It also provides immediate personalised education to help patients to self-manage their condition.

The realities of digital product innovation in the healthcare sector:

In the health care industry, any innovations as part of a wider informatics strategy are aimed to improve efficiencies and quality, whilst being wrapped around the patient experience in partnership with the healthcare institution. Stakeholder management can become complex and the nature of the product means the highest software development standards are used and bulletproof testing is performed.

Virtual clinic app is very unique which complements and contributes to the Electronic Patient Record planned for Birmingham Children’s Hosptial NHS and any data collected by this system could be made available through the clinical portal. This required secure data management processes to be in place via integration into a legacy system. As part of the trust’s wishes to undertake a care delivery transformation project aimed at patients with chronic long-term conditions, we understood the software development needs to lay a digital infrastructure for future virtual patient management processes.

The success of the project:

Evidence from controlled clinical trials suggests that the empowerment created by teaching self-management skills is more effective than information-only patient education and can both improve patient outcomes and reduce costs for the wider healthcare community. We believe that the functionality of this innovative app could be applied to the vast majority of chronic long-term conditions that are currently managed with regular outpatient clinic appointments.

We have continued to work with Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS, for the promotion of Virtual clinic app to be implemented by a wider health care community in the UK and abroad.