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A mobile-based intervention for COPD is one of three digital health technologies from Oxford in new collaboration with Drayson Technologies.

Careful development work with patients and their carers is a key contribution to the usability of this mobile-based system.
- Professor Andrew Farmer, commenting on EDGE-COPD

Drayson Technologies, Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust have signed three agreements to collaborate on the development, testing and future commercialisation of three clinically validated digital health products arising from research undertaken by engineers and doctors at Oxford University and OUH.

The products are designed to provide significant improvements in health outcomes for patients and reduce healthcare costs in the NHS.  They have undergone significant clinical testing and validation involving over 80,000 patients and generated over 16 million data records to date.

Results suggest that these technologies could deliver significant improvements in patient health outcomes and reduction in costs for the NHS.

Drayson Technologies’ role will be to support the wider testing of these products in up to four additional NHS Trusts across the UK over the next 12 months prior to taking over responsibility under an exclusive licence agreement for managing the wider deployment and commercialisation of these pioneering products across the NHS.

By investing to provide a commercial and operational infrastructure in Oxford, Drayson Technologies will enable these products to be adopted by other NHS Trusts across the UK.

The projects are:

  • SEND: a system for vital-sign observations in hospital patients, which has enhanced the clinical care of over 80,000 patients over the past two years at OUH (pictured).
  • GDm-health: a system for the management of diabetes in pregnant women, tested in over 1,000 patients, showed a 25% reduction in clinic visits, when evaluated at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
  • EDGE-COPD: a mobile-based system for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, developed in collaboration with researchers in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences with support from the Department of Health and Wellcome Trust through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund. This system showed a 17% reduction in hospital admissions during a 12-month clinical trial.

The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), a partnership between Oxford University and OUH, has funded the digital health research programmes that have successfully brought SEND, GDm-health and EDGE to their current stages of development. Oxford University Innovation, the research commercialisation company of Oxford University, licensed the technologies to Drayson Technologies.

SEND, GDm-health and EDGE-COPD are all digital health products that use machine learning artificial intelligence software, developed at Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, to analyse data and provide decision support and patient safety information to both patients and healthcare professionals.

Drayson Technologies intends to develop SEND into a central platform with which other digital health applications, starting with GDm-health and EDGE-COPD, can inter-operate, allowing for the potential for further improvement outcomes for patients and efficiencies for the NHS.

Lord Paul Drayson, Chairman and CEO of Drayson Technologies, said: “These products have shown in clinical trials that they improve patient health outcomes and reduce costs for the NHS. We are delighted to be working with Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to complete clinical evaluation and deploy these products more broadly across the NHS.”

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Head of Engineering Science, Oxford University, said: “SEND, GDm-health and EDGE-COPD, demonstrate the benefits of the multi-disciplinary collaboration we have developed over the past decade in Oxford. We have combined world-class engineering and clinical research with feedback from frontline NHS staff to create products that deliver real benefits to patients. In Oxford, we can go all the way from laboratory prototypes to clinically-validated products.”

Professor Andrew Farmer, Professor of General Practice in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, who was involved in the EDGE-COPD project, said “Careful development work with patients and their carers is a key contribution to the usability of this mobile-based system. Telehealth is increasingly seen as a way to bridge the gap between professional care and patient self-management, and has the potential to improve patient quality-of-life as well as reducing hospital admissions.”

The EDGE-COPD pilot study was carried out by the Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit.

Dr Adam Stoten, Head of Life Sciences, Oxford University Innovation, said: “Digital health has enormous potential to generate patient benefit and economic savings throughout the NHS. In Drayson Technologies we have found a partner committed to providing the resources and expertise needed to support the use of these ground-breaking technologies across multiple NHS Trusts and beyond.”


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Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not of Oxford University. Readers' comments will be moderated - see our guidelines for further information.

EDGE-COPD primary care researchers: