Department of Health (National): NHS patients to benefit from new ipad technology

U.K., May 13, 2011 12:31 CEST --- Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, and leading figures from health charities today launch the UK's first online health tracker that lets patients track their recovery live and provides essential data to help shape clinical decisions in the NHS.

Health secretary, Andrew Lansley, shows his support for the latest touch-screen technology, putting patients at the centre of care, by attending the launch of this innovation in mobile health.

HealthUnlocked Tracker is being trialled at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). The on-going pilot will measure the effectiveness of spinal surgery over a prolonged period, gathering essential data in an efficient and user-friendly way.

HealthUnlocked Tracker is the UK's first online patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) system lets patients record their progress in real time in-clinic using an iPad. The patients use the same system at home to track their progress over the internet.

Benefits of HealthUnlocked Tracker include:

● Doctors and nurses access the live system instantly to assess a patient's progress

● Surgeons track the value of the operations they carry out

● Hospitals and commissioners can quantify the benefits of different types of operations

● An estimated 300 new outpatient appointment slots per consultant surgeon per year could be created in the RNOH

● 95% of patients prefer the new online process to the traditional pen and paper method.

● Traditional methods of reporting on PROMs have rarely been accessible in a clinic - this system allows best use to be made of the information.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

"This is a great example of how healthcare innovation can make a real difference to patients' lives.

"We want to modernise the NHS because we believe that patients deserve the best and most innovative treatments available. We are committed to creating an environment in the NHS where new medical technologies like this can flourish."

Mr Matthew Shaw, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at the RNOH and the lead surgeon in the trial, explains:

"Having accurate information at my fingertips about my patients' recovery is groundbreaking. It ensures that I can quickly get to grips with their perspective and provide them with first-rate healthcare. As well as saving me time it will also create new insights about spinal surgery for the NHS as a whole."

Using these online instruments for reference RNOH consultants also plan to integrate them into follow-up. Matthew Shaw says:

"Some patients with very rapid recoveries require less intensive follow-up than those with slower or more problematic recoveries. This gives me more flexibility to assess this in advance, and better tailor my time to my patients' needs."

Dr Matt Jameson Evans, co-founder of HealthUnlocked says:

"All my experience as a surgeon in the NHS made me want to shake up the system and put patients at the heart of it and that's what this online tracking does. We've started with spinal patients but the potential is huge as the new tracking works with all types of disease. Our goal is that 50% of all UK patients with chronic disease have access to the new online health tracker and manage their progress online by 2016."

Speaking at the launch Simon Davies, Chair of Cancer52, comments on the future potential for the online health tracker for cancer patients:

"We welcome any initiative which could improve outcomes for patients with less common cancers and believe that this new tracker will do just that. Understanding how current patients are being treated and getting their feedback will help build better services in the future. Cancer52 will be encouraging its patient support group member charities to get involved."

Notes to editors

For further information contact:

Holly Brace - PR for HealthUnlocked

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 020 8090 4214 / 07534 409 680

Dr Matt Jameson Evans - Co-founder HealthUnlocked

Tel 0845 6802072 or 07968 701992 email

1. About the Pilot

The assessment combines the EQ5D, a standardised instrument to measure health outcomes, and the Oswestry Disability Index, a tool used to quantify spinal pain. Over one hundred patients are using HealthUnlocked in RNOH to date, and it is anticipated that 3,000-4,000 patients at RNOH will benefit from it each year.

2. About the Technology

The technology has been developed by HealthUnlocked, a UK company founded by NHS doctors to develop web-technology to aid patient tracking and improve surgery outcome measures. Initial development of the system was supported by grants from Spire Healthcare, Baxter Healthcare, K2M, Synthes, and kspine.

3. About HealthUnlocked:

HealthUnlocked is a UK company founded by NHS doctors that develops web-based technology to aid patient-patient and patient-doctor communication. Its diverse range of tools allow patients to access information about their local hospitals, communicate with other patients and support groups, and provides clinicians with in-clinic patient output monitoring systems. All of these aim to support, engage and track patients with chronic diseases in order to improve care. More information can be accessed at

4. About the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital:

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital s the largest specialist orthopaedic hospital in the UK and is regarded as a leader in the field of orthopaedics.

The Trust provides a comprehensive and unique range of neuro-musculoskeletal healthcare, ranging from acute spinal injuries to orthopaedic medicine and specialist rehabilitation for chronic back pain sufferers.

Contact Anna Fox - Communications and Foundation Trust Liaison Officer

[email protected] Tel: 020 8909 5349

5. About Cancer52

Cancer52 is an alliance of more than 40 organisations working to address inequality and improve outcomes for patients with less common cancers. Cancer52 was so named when it was launched in 2006 because 52 per cent of UK cancer deaths were from less common cancers. But recent statistics show that that figure has increased to 53%. ‘Less common' cancers (cancers which fall outside the ‘big four' of breast, bowel, lung and prostate) were diagnosed in nearly 140,000 people and accounted for 46% of new cancer cases in 2007; and nearly 83,000 (53%) of all cancer deaths in 2008

Contact Jane Lyons

[email protected] Tel: 07831 683307.


 NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept 
[email protected]