Edinburgh Napier University
Life and Chemical Sciences
Glasgow & Clyde Valley
HAS Technology (parent company of CM2000), has created ARMED, an Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection service which – through the development of a mobile platform – enables health professionals to be identified in a Service User’s home to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time.
Their technology has been designed so that both Service Users and Care Workers are completely protected, for example, sending alerts when a visit is running late so that advanced action can be taken. The service evidences a range of Service User improvements, tracks the impact of interventions and helps assess customer satisfaction levels. Linking to ARMED’s Family Portal module allows Service Users and their families to monitor the care and gives them opportunities to answer questionnaires that can be communicated back to the Care Provider, Local Authority and NHS.
ARMED records around 10 million community care visit logs each month, and also collects a great deal of data on the needs of Service Users. They approached Interface looking at how this data could be used to evaluate the long-term health of an individual, further supporting those administering the care, as well as those receiving it.
According to Brian Brown, Director of ARMED:
“We approached Interface because they have an excellent reputation for linking business and academia.”
Interface worked with ARMED to develop their brief, sending it to the most relevant universities and research institutions in Scotland. They received a number of notes of interest but decided to work with Prof. Bill Buchanan, Professor of Computing, and Adrian Smales, PhD Researcher at the Institute for Informatics & Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University.
Thanks to support from Professor Buchanan & Adrian Smales, the business secured a £5,000 SFC Innovation Voucher, administered by Interface. This extra funding helped to offset the cost of the project allowing them to process large amounts of data which gave them the ability to assess the likelihood of the onset of illness. This enabled at-risk clients to be easily identified and closely monitored, thus reducing the need for medical interventions.
ARMED were so pleased with their initial project with Edinburgh Napier University that they wished to continue the relationship and, in collaboration with Professor Buchanan and Adrian Smales, developed a second project focussed on building a more robust evaluation platform. Their overall aim was to gather additional information on patients’ conditions, in line with NHS and Local Council requirements, developing predictive techniques which help identify those at risk. In doing so, ARMED’s technology is able to pre-empt expensive hospital-based care, helping healthcare providers across the world to save millions of pounds and improve the quality of service to vulnerable Service Users.
The detailed research and development work in both stages was undertaken by Adrian Smales, a Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University, and whose research work has been focusing on the detection of frailty using data from a range of sources. Adrian commented:
“We have a long-term vision of using data to detect the early signs of illness, and apply new methods that should lead to improved care and better outcomes for all.”
Due to the nature of the project, and to cover the cost of the research team who were needed to develop the state-of-the-art predictive tools, ARMED once more approached Interface to apply for SFC Follow-on Innovation Voucher funding. The Follow-On Innovation Voucher allows companies to apply for up to £20,000 of funding which requires to be matched with cash from the company. Thanks to support from Professor Buchanan they were again successful and received almost £20,000 of funding which allowed them to progress with the project.
According to Professor Buchanan:
“Currently, patient information can only be effectively captured in controlled environments such as hospitals, care homes or a GP surgery. This project has significantly extended the effectiveness of ARMED’s mobile platform and by applying our research into advanced predictive analytic techniques we have successfully incorporated patient focused data capture with real-time personalised feedback.”
Brian Brown, Director of ARMED, added:
“By working with the University the time to market has been reduced. The development of this new technology has huge commercial benefits and we expect to significantly increase revenue. It also strengthens our export potential. We expect both quality and cost savings benefits for our customers.”
Since working with Edinburgh Napier University, HAS Technology have gone on to work with the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI). The objective of this project was to apply advanced predictive analytical techniques to the data captured during homecare visits in East Dunbartonshire in order to identify markers which are indicative of the early onset of illness. Leveraging expertise from ongoing work in Primary Care in England will accelerate the integration of the ARMED mobile application into the Frailty Framework in Scotland, providing a unique opportunity to mine data across the boundary between health and social care.
This collaboration has already been hailed a success in the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership Care Inspectorate Report, where it scored 6 or excellent in the ‘quality of care and support’ category. The report from the July 2016 Care Inspectorate told us:
“The people involved in the project were extremely positive about its benefits. These included being more knowledgeable and aware about their activity, fitness and heart rate, and more informed about their general wellbeing.”
This is an example of how big data, machine learning and predictive analytics can be used in healthcare, and the collaboration between Edinburgh Napier University, the DHI and ARMED is an example of great Scottish knowledge exchange between commercial and academic partners.
With a proven success rate, ARMED has quickly expanded, deployed internationally, gained Microsoft recognition and created 5 new jobs, demonstrating how AI and deep learning can revolutionise preventative care. ARMED is an example of how SMEs can contribute to Scotland having a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy.
In accordance with the Medical Device Directive (MDD), ARMED has been certified as a medical device and can now be used in clinical settings.
Brian Brown, director of ARMED at HAS Technology, said: “We are delighted that ARMED has received certification as a medical device. Technology has a huge role to play moving forward and with so much evidence to support the benefits of early detection, this places ARMED in a much more credible position, especially within NHS spheres, to help make a real difference.”
The ARMED clinical evaluation stated that a “proactive approach to falls is considered crucial” and “significant reductions in falls” have been observed in trials when a risk of falling is identified, and the risk is managed.
It also highlighted that evaluations to date have identified clinical trends in patient groups including dehydration, weight loss, restlessness nocturnally, muscle wasting and reduced grip strength, all of which can be monitored by ARMED.
For more information on ARMED, please visit armedprevention.co.uk
Please note that Interface administers the Innovation Voucher Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. All funding applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Scottish Funding Council, guidelines can be found here.