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Alan Lowe

CEO and co-founder, Visionable

Next-generation video conferencing and clinical imaging technology has transformed stroke care in NHS East of England.

When a suspected stroke patient is admitted to A&E, a portable, wireless-enabled “digital stroke cart” is rolled to their beside, with everything required for an immediate, full virtual consultation with a remote stroke specialist. Supported by immediate access to scans, as well input from the patient, their families and the local stroke teams, clinicians can make an immediate diagnosis, minimising critical door-to-needle (DTN) time and preventing unnecessary patient transfer to another hospital.

Former NHS service manager, Alan Lowe, saw the potential of system efficiencies from clinician-led digital transformation within the NHS. Lowe developed the new East of England (EoE) Stroke Telemedicine Stakeholder Partnership, Visionable technology.

Before implementing Visionable, in NHS East of England, fewer than 5% of patients eligible for thrombolysis in EoE were receiving the treatment within the critical three-hour time frame. Now, rates are 41%. Lowe says:

Patients receive faster, better treatment, because the stroke specialist comes directly to them. They are likely to spend less time in hospital, and their recoveries are often faster.

Connecting clinician and patient data, faster

The key benefit of Visionable, he says, is that it is the only end-to-end system designed especially for healthcare, with features including high quality, real-time transfer of whatever still and moving images, data, and MDT clinical input are required.

He says: “What makes us different is that we are a manufacturer and so we have end-to-end control of our system, so we can give clinicians what they want, rather than imposing a system on them.”

Success within the stroke treatment pathway has proved that Visionable can be applied to any clinical setting. Possible future development scenarios include ambulance crews delivering more care at the scene of an incident, and patients requiring a specialist referral being seen by their GP and consultant within one day.

As hospitals grapple with the winter challenges ahead, and the logistics of treating an ageing population, the NHS has started to think about how digital transformation can improve the ways patients receive care and Lowe sees Visionable as playing a key role in this. “It’s about connecting every doctor with every patient in every location,” he says.

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