Spirit Healthcare is a provider of healthcare solutions based in Leicester. Formed in 2009, the business provides products and services to the NHS and private hospitals, helping patients to better self-manage their medical conditions, improving their quality of life.
The organisation specialises in delivering innovative technology-supported healthcare solutions in diabetes, dermatology and the management of long-term conditions (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure).
Spirit’s CliniTouch system is used by patients with, for example, COPD, and clinicians to monitor clinical and well-being. Patients submit information – including blood pressure, oxygen saturation and quality of life surveys – from the comfort of their own home.
A nurse is able to remotely monitor the status of patients’ health and spot any early signs of deterioration, allowing them to initiate prompt intervention, and avoid exacerbation or potential hospitalisation. Nurses are able to manage larger case-loads of patients without the need for increased house visits, as well as providing tailored care based on any changes in symptoms.
The CliniTouch system relies on a strong signal in order to connect patients with nurses working remotely. Patients are often based across a range of geographic locations with varying levels of signal. Spirit Healthcare was using a single network SIM which didn’t necessarily seek out the strongest signal.
Quentin Hayes, Operations Director at Spirit Healthcare, said: ‘‘COPD is a long-term condition that requires regular monitoring. It’s important to intervene in a timely fashion in order to prevent hospitalisation, which typically involves a lengthy stay. This is hugely costly for the NHS, particularly with a number of ‘revolving door’ patients regularly in and out of hospital.’’
He added: “The CliniTouch system helps people to stay at home and better self-manage their condition. The system depends upon strong and consistent connectivity, yet signal strength varies enormously across the UK. We needed a solution that would allow us to go into geographic areas where, previously, connectivity was poor.”
Spirit Healthcare came to M2M Intelligence in 2014 to find a more efficient way of operating that would allow them to expand their service into areas where mobile coverage was often limited.
M2M supplied Spirit with affordable multi-network mobile data SIMs for use in their range of cloud based healthcare devices used by patients and staff. The M2M-i Multinet SIM enables the devices to connect with any available UK network, meaning Spirit’s CliniTouch system is not reliant on a single provider’s ability to deliver a constant signal wherever patients are based.
Operating outside of the internet, M2M’s mobile data SIMs provide a direct connection between Spirit’s telehealth technology and the server.
Spirit has been able to optimise its data costs and to provide predictable, reliable services to its clients and patients by eliminating the reliance on a single network. This has enabled the company to expand its services into new geographical areas and to provide a better level of care to a greater number of patients.
A reliable connection allows better monitoring, letting patients stay at home longer whilst providing the reassurance of regular contact and the knowledge their key clinical and non-clinical measures are being monitored around the clock.
Over a 12-month period Spirit’s CliniTouch solution helped to avoid, in one health economy alone, 163 admissions, saving the NHS over £350,000 – achieving an ROI of 200%. Nurses were able to manage a case-load of between 70-100 patients daily, a significant increase on traditional capacities.
The M2M Insight Portal provides Spirit Healthcare with a snapshot of its SIM population in real-time. Users can log on and access the number of SIMs currently operating, the status of each SIM, key metrics relating to each one, as well as an estimate of what the month-end usage will be. Complete transparency puts Spirit Healthcare in control.
“We have a great product but a sub-optimal mobile data infrastructure was inhibiting our technology being used to its full potential,” said Quentin. “M2M’s technology has had a huge impact in expanding the opportunities for CliniTouch.’’