The HETT Unexpected Innovation Awards returns in November 2022 to celebrate the very best in experimental design, collaboration, and leadership in digital healthcare. 

The event showcases champions of digital health innovation and highlights some great stories of transformation. The awards bring together the health and care ecosystem and highlights best practice examples to inspire more to do the same. 

The Unexpected Innovator of the year award will highlight nominees who have been synonymous in driving forward great change in digital healthcare leading to significant impact for patient outcomes or services. 

The three shortlisted submissions for this category are: 

Myles Ackley, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

Myles joined the Trust as an apprentice before quickly progressing to the role of Applications Developer. He was asked to lead on a new project to support the School Aged Immunisation Team, one of the largest projects that Myles had led - and on a technology stack that was brand new to him and the Trust. 

The immunisation project came about to replace existing inefficient paper-based processes for management vaccination sessions. A mobile solution was required that captures vaccination data during vaccination sessions in schools. The team also needed a way to administer the whole programme, which Myles achieved via a web platform. 

During the project, Myles learnt new skills and development techniques to ensure that all sessions was created and managed electronically, all consent was captured electronically, and sessions ran smoothly. 

Due to Myles’s development efforts, processes are more efficient and much more scalable, and this enables staff to focus on patient care. He overcame the challenge of working with a platform that he had never used before and one that is quite isolated to the healthcare industry with limited online resources and support. Despite complications, Myles pushed through and delivered on a web-based management portal and tablet application that is now relied upon daily. 

Wendy Blumenow, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust 

During the pandemic, Wendy found that compulsory wearing of face masks by therapists meant that children undergoing therapies were not able to fully engage in their treatments – and that transparent masks could be the answer. 

Working with an innovation team, Wendy helped put together their first concept of a transparent mask. There were over 40 iterations, feedback and testing before a final design was achieved.

They then partnered with Bluetree Medical to deliver BrillianSee TM - the transparent face masks for healthcare professionals, that ensured clinical safety, whilst still allowing others to see their faces clearly. 
Wendy was part of the driving force that has allowed BrillianSee TM to see the face clearly, offers improved communication reading and interpretation of non-verbal cues, factors that are essential in services such as SLT. It is comfortable to wear, allowing for unencumbered movement of the lower face. BrilianseeTM has been approved by the four devolved nations, confirming their compliance to the Department of Health and Social Care’s transparent mask technical specification, alongside the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency; Essential Health and Safety Requirements.  
Wendy has also been a key advocator for driving BrillianSee TM to be deployed within Alder Hey. This has meant clinicians can engage with children who need reassurance, whilst keeping safe - transforming the approach to delivering optimal care during and beyond the pandemic.

Clare Cassidy, for work as Technical Architect at Northwest Shared Infrastructure Services 

Clare Cassidy was working as a Technical Architect at Northwest Shared Infrastructure Services, which supports NHS organisations in the provision of IT/Digital services. Her role was to oversee the design and implementation of solutions across the digital estate - including WAN, Data Orchestration, Shared Care Records, LAMP Covid-19 testing.

Her role involved coordinating projects across Integrated Care Systems (Lancashire & South Cumbria and Cheshire & Merseyside) and coordinating several technology suppliers so that they were working in a focused way across the patch.

Clare played an important role in the OpenSource Data & Interoperability Platform (ODIP) that has been designed and built by and for the NHS. The ODIP orchestrates data across many digital satellite systems that need to communicate with each other to ensure that data follows the patient to optimise their care and access to service.

The ODIP solution addresses several problems, a key one being interoperability between Shared Care Records. In addressing this, the current version of the ODIP solution can be scaled as a national aggregator of Shared Care Records across the country.

Clare is the lead author of the Lancashire & South Cumbria ICS interoperability Principles which are a documented set of principles for suppliers and local development teams. She developed alignment with NHS England technical strategy, which included leveraging scalable microservices and event-based component architectures. Clare developed an OpenSource digital asset designed and built by the NHS that will ensure data can save lives.

Clare is now Chief Architect at NHS England & Improvement.

Avie Luthra, Barnet, Enfield & Haringey NHS Trust (BEH)

Avie Luthra is a consultant psychiatrist who developed a free Excel-based app that solves the issue of the burden of psychiatric admin. In 2020, Avie was working in a psychiatric clinic where it took three months for GPs to get consultant letters via dictation, secretaries etc.  The quality of the letters has improved, and the app takes a detailed history in real time whist seeing the patient.

Since then, Avie has added a solution to the problem of expending digital notes for psychiatric patients. The average patient has 500 pages of notes, so he coded the app to process up to 1000 pages/minute of digital notes. 

  • The app reduced 3 months to 3 minutes of time taken for GPs to get consultant letters 
  • The digital notes solution app creates a simple but accurate series of histories – medications, physical health, risk, doctors’ and nurses’ inputs
  • The two apps have been combined and can process thousands of pages of notes and turn them into letters and reports 
  • The app has templates for the full gamut of psychiatric needs, tribunal reports and clinic letters, all at the click of a mouse 
  • The clinician’s time is now preserved for listening to the patient instead of doing admin 

Visit the HETT Unexpected Innovation Awards 2022 website for more information about the categories and the upcoming awards ceremony. 

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