The Ally Blog
3 min read · November 10, 2022

Harnessing the power of data and remote diagnostics to deliver optimal care to NHS patients

Ally Health is launching its remote testing infrastructure solution to deliver sustainable improvements to care pathways across the NHS. With 70% of all medical decisions based on laboratory investigations, improving the accessibility of testing for patients is key to ensuring an optimal level of care is delivered.

Our team entered the DigitalHealth.London Launchpad programme with the desire to understand where our toolkit for remote diagnostics could be best deployed within the vastness of the NHS and its various entities. After three months of deep diving into the workings of primary care and through the expert meetings that DigitalHealth.London facilitated, we are pleased to announce our plans to deploy our mass remote screening tools across the NHS. Our starting point? Diabetes care.

Deploying remote diagnostics across the NHS: Diabetes care use case

Overburdened surgeries across the NHS are currently struggling to meet the required levels of care for patients on their Diabetes Mellitus registers, let alone monitor pre-diabetic patients frequently enough, in line with NICE guidance. As an example, a London-based Primary Care Network’s recent achievement shows that only c. 21% of patients on its disease registers have received the three treatment targets (cholesterol, hbA1c and blood pressure monitoring). In addition to this, data shows that across the country about 15–20% of diabetes patients remain undiagnosed.

At Ally Health, we believe that our remote diagnostics turnkey solution can be deployed to help surgeries deliver better care for their pre-diabetes and diabetic patients, ultimately preventing complications further down the line.

What does our intervention look like?

The first step is all about identifying the right cohort of at-risk patients. To do this, we have partnered with Data Care Solutions, a data analytics company specialised in analysing patient health records, founded by Dr Jay Verma and Dr Sukin Natarajan. Their algorithms search for codes against patient records that might indicate their status as diabetic or pre-diabetic, even when they are not on the existing register list.

Through this first intervention, Data Care Solutions expects to identify between 10–15% of patients who had previously been missed off from the registers and therefore not receiving the right care.

Once this initial step is completed, our team at Ally Health takes over and deploys its in-community testing capabilities to deliver screening for identified patients in line with the NICE nine key care processes and three Treatment Targets. From then on, through our direct integration with patient management softwares, referrals are issued and patients are invited to take part in the screening. Once their assessments are complete, results are updated on the patient’s records and their profile’s coding is certified as being accurate.

Ally Health will work with local surgeries to track patient uptake of screening and deliver targeted patient engagement plans to follow up and seek feedback from patients, with an ambition to achieve a >95% uptake rate (vs. 78% national screening average uptake).

Why do we think our solution can help deliver better care for NHS patients?

Through the convenience of testing at a nearby Ally Health pop-up, we anticipate that many patients who would not otherwise have attended far-away hospital clinics will be getting tested. What’s more, with our support and by delivering this assessment remotely, the existing healthcare infrastructure will not be overburdened by the additional workload.

Combining the power of data analytics with the reach and accessibility of remote screening campaigns, and looking solely at Diabetes Mellitus patient registers, our modelling forecasts that an average of 23% of mislabelled or unidentified patients would be added to the register across a primary care network with average practice list size of approximately 8,000 patients. This translates into very real benefits for hundreds of patients within a given primary care network who will be given the care they need and deserve.

In addition, patients already on the registers who would previously not have received the regular screenings indicated by the NICE guidelines, will now be adequately monitored.

From a financial perspective and looking at our case study example, we expect that Ally Health can unlock an additional £2.91 benefit per registered patient. This is achieved through the combined effects of increased register size leading to increased QOF payments available, ability to reliably meet full QOF targets and GP time savings,

What next?

We think this approach can be tailored to cover chronic diseases as well as NHS Health Checks, and pave the way for an ongoing relationship with different healthcare practices in which Ally Health and Data Care Solutions act as the main partners to promote preventative healthcare by harnessing data and delivering in-community health interventions.

After three busy and eye-opening months as part of the DigitalHealth.London Launchpad programme, we are delighted to announce our first steps towards supporting the NHS, and adapting our mass screening tools to deliver optimal care in the community without overloading existing clinical settings.

By encompassing data analytics, deep practice understanding and real life remote health interventions, Ally Health has the toolkit needed to deliver long term change for practitioners and their patients.

To find out more how Ally Health can support your surgery, Primary Care Network or ICB, please reach out to Kelly Klifa, CEO & Founder of Ally Health