An easy-to-use digital monitoring app for the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers, reducing pain and deterioration of patients’ health while at the same time saving valuable NHS resources.
Let’s Set The Scene
Ignaz Technology is a company that’s been founded by healthcare professionals to create digital solutions for challenges facing staff and patients in the NHS.
Its first product aims to reduce harm and inefficiencies in the treatment of pressure ulcers in hospitals. Ignaz’s founders - all doctors working in the NHS - have worked with specialist wound care consultants to support the development of the new digital solution.
The team is planning to develop a series of digital solutions for deployment in the NHS over the next five to ten years.
Ignaz approached Big Lemon to help them take their first idea for a digital solution from concept to reality.
Currently, pressure ulcers in Welsh hospitals are monitored via a paper-based system of recording. The Ignaz team identified this as an area for improvement - better monitoring and therefore treatment of these wounds would:
- reduce the time patients spend in hospital,
- free up clinician and nursing time,
- minimise waste of materials,
- prevent secondary complications,
- and, most importantly save patients from the pain of serious pressure ulcers.
Ignaz saw that by digitising the monitoring in an easy-to-use app it would reduce pain and deterioration of patients’ health while at the same time saving valuable NHS resources.
While the Ignaz team are all clinicians themselves, as part of the Big Lemon Discovery process they identified a need to involve a wider range of health and other professionals in the development of the app. Using experience of working on other NHS and health projects, Big Lemon has helped Ignaz to engage with teams of clinicians, specialist nurses, innovation officers and hospital IT and procurement teams to re-assess the problem and refine what was needed.
Through this Discovery process - and using their MoSCoW methodology to hone in on what nursing staff and clinicians needed - Big Lemon was able to advise the Ignaz team on a new direction for the app which more closely aligned with potential users’ feedback on desired features, useability and outcomes.
Having created an initial app concept which closely reflected the learnings from the Discovery process, Big Lemon organised a series of focus groups with frontline NHS teams which have enabled them to future refine and develop the app. Ignaz hopes to begin testing within an NHS setting soon.
“We’re a start-up, finding the lie of the land. So, working with Big Lemon has really helped us as they’ve already got experience in the health care sector and developing technology for use in the NHS. Over and above the technical issues they’ve helped us to solve, through the Discovery process they have refined the product with users, introduced us to key NHS teams and created the focus groups on which we’re basing the ongoing development of the app”
Ignaz Technologies co-founder Dr Frank Davis
The Tech Bit
- Take images with the native device camera track how pressure ulcers change over time, removing ambiguity and inconsistencies on-ward
- Select an area of the body on the SNOMED CT body map for accurate plotting
- Clinicians can saved notes, dressing plans and more to help knowledge transfer between shifts and other clinicians
- All data is stored on-device or in a secure cloud environment
- Integration with public and private company systems - currently exploring integrating with NHS Wales and a number of privately owned medical settings
- Built for iOS and Android tablets, with mobile supported too
Big Lemon and Ignaz have built a digital monitoring app which enables a nurse to capture a photo of the patient’s ulcer, tagged with their name, date of birth and NHS number so that the image is stored for anyone accessing the patient’s record. It can be plotted on a body map, annotated and scored using the PURPOSE-T (Pressure Ulcer Risk Primary or Secondary Evaluation Tool) standard used across NHS Wales.
With time-stamped digital images, nurses and clinician are able to scroll back through to see how a wound looked in the past and assess any positive or negative changes. This function also enables a user to be alerted if an ulcer is increasing in diameter or grade (depth).
Better monitoring means ulcers can be treated sooner and prevented from becoming worse. This means less pain for the patient, and less time in hospital - pressure ulcers are a significant issue which often prevents an otherwise clinically well patient from being discharged, adding to pressure on already-stretched bed availability .
It enables staff to make better clinical decisions around the treatment of an ulcer, enables them to easily see any changes in its condition and alerts them if it’s getting worse, rather than staff having to go back through text-only paper notes.
As the app develops in future iterations, it is hoped it could continue to support better outcomes for the patient as they are discharged into the care of community nurses, GPs or other carers
Why Big Lemon?
“We’ve felt like Big Lemon has been part of the team, we’ve worked so closely together on the development of the app. We’ve benefited from their experience in the sector and their co-production experience which has made for really effective focus groups with frontline clinical teams.”
“We came to Big Lemon via a recommendation from another healthcare entrepreneur and liked that they are BCorp accredited and how that aligns with how we want to operate as a business.”
“It’s a very inclusive relationship and together we’ve built something which we believe could transform people’s experience of hospital care. We’re all very excited to be taking the product out into the real world very soon.”
Ignaz Technologies co-founder Dr Frank Davis