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GM CHC - Industry Partnerships

GM CHC has worked proactively with large industry and SMEs to accelerate business growth in the digital health sector for the benefit of the North of England. 

As part of the clinical care pathways projects, partnerships were formed with national businesses that had specific innovations that could extend the scope of our projects:

  • D2 Digital supported the development of the pre-hospitalisation pathway stroke app,

  • MDSAS developed an integration application and platform to support national rollout of our ABC-ICH stroke project, and

  • Imosphere integrated their Atmolytics tool for completing in-depth data exploration, visualisation, benchmarking and reporting within the primary care pathway outputs.

GM CHC developed a spin-in lab to support companies wishing to validate products for the healthcare market.

  • The Spin-in Lab is an innovation environment to build tri-partite partnerships between industry, NHS, and researchers to accelerate the development of digital health technologies.

  • This model enables companies to develop, test and validate digital health products and services using real-world health data and access to domain specific data analytics capabilities and expert advice on the design and development of their ideas.

A Spin -in Lab Case Study

The most recent Spin-in Lab project is a collaboration between Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (SRFT) and the University of Manchester to support a research and innovation project to advance the automation of coding diagnoses from digital clinical text.

Clinicians typically record brief free-text descriptions of symptoms, diagnoses and treatments in semi-structured letters, which require additional efforts in clinical coding (e.g. to ICD or SNOMED CT) to make such data accessible for both clinical care and research. IMO was developing support for clinicians to facilitate clinical coding either at the point of care (e.g. while recording diagnoses) or as a separate functionality (e.g. automated coding of descriptions in clinical letters). 

The company already had three quarters of US hospitals connected to an on-line, organic clinical vocabulary that it maintains and this interface vocabulary is mapped to several standardised terminologies. Assessing the value of accurate clinical coding using their technology in the UK was however a challenge, given the sensitivity of accessing clinical services or letters by anyone outside the NHS. However, access to data is not necessarily needed if a trusted party (that has access to the data) can assist in developing the software by testing and validating the outcomes.

To support the project, which was funded by IMO, GM CHC established a multi-disciplinary team that acted as a trusted third party and facilitator. The team prepared and obtained all ethical approvals and monitored the entire process including the data extraction steps. They organised training and manual clinical coding of data by SRFT clinicians, installed and run the IMO software at SRFT (local access to data but making sure that the proper licences for running the software are in place), and collected and analysed the results.

The findings were then discussed with all partners and relevant conclusions reached, including, for example, that the quality of automated coding using the IMO’s interface terminology was comparable to manual expert coding by clinicians. The results of the Spin-in lab have further led to subsequent clinical projects and future collaborations on new projects.


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