Young South African health technology company Healthcent (Signapps™) has won a prestigious contract with Britain’s National Health Services (NHS) to offer its software as a service communication platform for the management of clinical communication to NHS Trusts.
NHS Trusts will be able to procure these services through a framework agreement from a group of prequalified and individually vetted specialist suppliers. The contract has a list value of £3m and will run for a period of two years with a potential extension of 12 months.
The tender published on the 19th of June, revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has “accelerated the need to urgently deliver on Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s long-standing plan to phase out pagers by the end of 2021.”
This process was fast tracked because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the urgency is underlined by the fact that the tender was awarded at the end of July, within one and a half months of being published.
“The contract with the NHS is a major coup for us, as a South African company, proving that our product engineering teams can create software to compete with the very best internationally” said Andrew Davies, CEO of Signapps™.
Since its launch three years ago, Signapps™ is being used in numerous public and private healthcare facilities throughout South Africa, including the paediatric burns units at Baragwanath, Edendale and RCCH, stroke units within the Life Healthcare Hospital group, sub-acute care for Intercare and Spescare, managed care of palliative patients with Alignd, a specialist referral framework in Medscheme, in-patient care at Vista Psychiatric Hospital and more recently on a pro-bono basis, within state hospitals to keep healthcare workers safe in the COVID-19 environment.
International studies have revealed that as much as 70% of all preventable mishaps in healthcare happen as a result of miscommunication or no communication. Using Signapps™, clinical updates about patients can be communicated and shared confidentially, enabling appropriate responses by practitioners in real-time as well as facilitating more generalised communication relating to logistical and administrative matters between teams.
The advantage of Signapps™, particularly in the treatment of patients with COVID-19, is that only essential workers need to be physically present with the patient, allowing other members of the care team to collaborate in real time remotely. This reduces the risk of unnecessary exposure to healthcare workers providing input to cases, whilst allowing them to efficiently manage a far greater number of patients than otherwise possible without the technology.
“There was an excellent fit between the requirements of the NHS tender and the Signapps™ messaging platform including our GDPR compliant platform feature set and points of integration to NHS’s Active Directory and Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. These features and integrations enable staff to share clinical information quickly and securely with the minimum of friction”
“The award shows that our platform, already proven to be effective in South Africa, can stand up to international scrutiny and be selected for use in one of the world’s biggest national health systems. I am proud of everyone, both inside and outside our company, who has played a role in developing Signapps™ to this point,” Davies says.
“In particular I have to thank our loyal customers in the South African healthcare eco-system who have worked with us to design and deliver a system that speaks to the need to optimise efficiency and ease of use for time constrained practitioners, driving down utilisation costs through better coordinated care and ultimately resulting in better outcomes for patients.”