Tiny Medical Apps (TMA) has secured funding from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to develop a fast, developer-friendly, secure, consent-driven, and cost-effective digital platform that aims to facilitate access to patient records across England.
The NHS envisages a digital-first future and COVID-19 has made this an urgent need. There is currently no single access point to patient data for SMEs who want to build remote monitoring applications. Scaling a product nationally is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Further to this, there are high regulatory hurdles to being able to store sensitive patient data.
Interoperability with healthcare systems requires expert knowledge of FHIR (fast healthcare interoperability resources), a complex and evolving standard. Therefore, the ecosystem of patient-facing solutions remains small (TMA are one of only 12 NHS accredited suppliers for personal health records).
Matt Bourne, TMA’s Chief Technology Officer, explains the background behind Patient Cloud and what it will hopefully achieve:
“Whilst building our own apps, in particular the Digital Health Passport, we found a key part of the puzzle was missing: we found the integration process hugely burdensome and wanted to simplify the process, not only for ourselves, but also for others.”
TMA’s Patient Cloud aims to be the first single access point to patient records regardless of location and removes the need for SMEs to build expensive integrations and manage their own servers. Furthermore, Patient Cloud will free health innovators to focus on patient need and not technology.
Patient Cloud will achieve this by integrating NHS Login for patient authentication and connecting directly to regional patient records; and by providing an elegant GraphQL endpoint (over existing interoperability complexity) to empower developers regardless of healthcare expertise. Using container pipelines TMA can deliver a safe and secure product that performs in a guaranteed way within their own cloud or in a customer’s. Lastly, Patient Cloud can support low code, no code, and pure code – vastly reducing the cost, risk and time to deployment.
Dr Louise Allen, Medical Director at DigiVis, explains the benefits of Patient Cloud to them:
“Patient Cloud will enable us to realise our goal of ensuring that all children are able to access accurate vision and hearing screening, regardless of postcode and economic circumstances.”
Professor Aziz Sheikh, Director of BREATHE – the Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health, highlights the value of Patient Cloud to health data research:
“The Patient Cloud platform proposed by TMA has the potential to unlock and combine new and valuable data streams from consented patients. BREATHE will work with TMA to maximise the opportunity for multiple patient devices and apps to share consented patient data with researchers via their new platform.”
To find out more about Patient Cloud, or to register your interest, please go to:
Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, drives productivity and economic growth by supporting business to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. Innovate UK is investing up to £191 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund over the next two years. The aim of these competitions is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.
Innovate UK connects businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.
They fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Their support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org.