Pioneering technology developed in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire has been selected as one of the Top 70 health innovations by a website dedicated to NHS top tech.
NHS70 Innovations is celebrating the 70th birthday of the National Health Service by highlighting the technological achievements that are revolutionising patient care.
A different technology or other innovation is featured each day and today (Friday May 11) Flo Telehealth is the star attraction.
Flo uses mobile phone technology to help patients monitor long-term-conditions and maintain daily contact with GPs, nurses or other health professionals. While it can apply to many conditions it is especially successful for patients with diabetes, asthma and COPD which affects breathing.
Flo – or Florence Simple Telehealth to use its full name - has been widely adopted across the NHS in both England and Scotland, and has now achieved international success in the US and Australia.
One patient, Jeff, said: “Flo resembles a friendly, good-natured and trusted member of the family. I feel more able to cope and more confident about the future. Most importantly, it helps me cope with my situation.”
Dr Ruth Chambers, Clinical Chair of Stoke-on-Trent CCG, has championed Flo. She said: “Technology is revolutionising patient care and is key to helping NHS staff manage rising demand. It’s a real achievement for Flo to be recognised as one of the leading innovations.
“Since 2014 many thousands of patients have benefited. It allows patients to monitor their own health using their mobile phones, checking vital signs such as oxygen levels and blood pressure and relaying the information to the their healthcare team, and summoning extra support if needed.”
The success has been underpinned by academic research carried out in North Staffordshire at Keele University.
Dr Chambers said: “This research evidence has been published in the British Medical Journal Online and other publications, which are really noticed and trusted by the medical community.
“This work has been led by Dr Lizzie Cottrell who is an academic at Keele University and GP at Wolstanton Medical Centre, the academic general practice for the area.”
While NHS Innovations celebrates an innovation every day, all of those featured can still be viewed. Flo is number 55.