Remote ECG monitoring and AI-assisted analysis to improve reporting times and accuracy

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCT) is an NHS provider of mental health, community health and specialist learning disability services. It supports people of all ages who live in the Bradford, Airedale, Craven and Wakefield areas.

Situation

The Trust was using paper-based electrocardiogram (ECG) machines and the ward doctor would interpret the generated ECG trace and manually input its data into the system. Depending upon the clinical need, the trace would then be posted to an acute care provider for analysis before results were returned to BDCT. This process could take up to two weeks and could delay patient care.

Aspiration

Digitise the pathway to reduce the time it takes to analyse an ECG trace.

Solution and impact

Bradford District Care Foundation Trust (BDCT) has completed its migration to Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and uses Technomed’s ECG On-Demand platform in hospital, community and home settings. It performs ECGs for antipsychotic drug monitoring and physical health checks.

Impact

Technomed’s HSCN-connected 12-lead ECG machines have helped speed up the Trust’s process. Average turnaround times of 15 minutes from the clinician’s initial upload of a 12-lead ECG, and two hours for a Holter report to be returned securely have been achieved. The purely digital process eliminates the need to use paper and frees up the hospital’s clinicians, allowing them more time to attend to patients.

Much shorter waiting times have significantly improved patient care as more serious cardiac conditions can be diagnosed earlier. The ECG is examined and reported on by an experienced clinician in near real-time for serious ailments, so patients no longer need to be transferred between settings for confirmatory diagnoses. This is particularly significant for BDCT, as mental health patients are often reluctant to attend conventional healthcare settings, resulting in shorter life expectancy than the general population. BDCT can now perform medical checks on their patients in familiar environments helping to address this inequality in life expectancy.

Functionality

Within the ECG On-Demand service, Technomed primarily offers two solutions:

  • 12-lead ECG Interpretation. This records ECG results from patients, sends them to Technomed cardiologists for artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted analysis, then returns an ECG report, including patient management advice
  • Ambulatory ECG Holter monitoring analysis. This wearable Holter monitor records a patient's cardiac activity for up to 21 days. The data is then uploaded for Technomed to analyse and a report returned within two hours to support the patient’s care

Capabilities

  • Record high-fidelity digital ECGs, both from 12-lead and a Holter monitor from patients and send them securely to Technomed via HSCN
  • An expert cardiologist examines the ECG trace using specialist analytical tools (with AI assistance for accuracy and speed)
  • Returns the results to the clinician as a digital report attached to the patient’s electronic record

Scope

To provide high-fidelity analyses and report on patient ECG reading in near real-time.

Key figures/quotes

“Given the medications our patients need to take, and their general poor health, we know ECG testing is important, but we don’t have the expertise to read them,” says Fiona Cooke, physical health lead at Bradford District Care Foundation Trust. “Since the adoption of HSCN and Technomed technology, it is now much easier and faster to get an ECG report and take the required action. As a clinician, you don’t necessarily get involved in technology – but this is simple.”

Find out more

Find out more about Technomed on the NHS Digital website

Key contact

Fiona Cooke, physical health lead, Bradford District Care Foundation Trust

Fiona.Cooke@bdct.nhs.uk