Lung Health is a Guided Clinical Consultation software. It’s aim is to standardise care and provide a framework for consultation which permits non-specialist nurses/GPs, with specialist oversight, to diagnose COPD whilst delivering guideline-level care, consistently, safely, and accurately in every patient interaction. By getting it right first time, the solution helps improve patient care, optimize healthcare delivery, and reduce the financial burden on the NHS.
- Guided clinical consultation creating a ‘satnav’ for medicine.
- Used extensively through the pandemic for remote review.
- Supporting system transformation and improving patient care
The Lung Health system can be used remotely by phone, by video using screen share or in a traditional face to face consultation. The software offers a complete system solution which may be utilised to facilitate remote review thus leading to further pathway efficiencies. The development of this product has had to demonstrate conformity with the NHS system requirements, and that it is functional within practices.
As part of the leadership team at Lung Health, Biswajit Chakrabarti is a consultant respiratory physician at Liverpool University NHS Trust and NHS Clinical Entrepreneur. In 2018 Biswajit was named in the ‘Top 70 NHS Stars’ as part of a national poll launched by the NHS, to honour individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to patient care, services, and local communities over the last 70 years.
Around 25% of people on COPD registers may have an incorrect diagnosis.
The motivation for developing the concept of the clinical guided consultation came from audit and other data published a decade ago, demonstrating the variability which is found in the delivery of medical care, and an awareness that informatics can prompt and assist clinicians to get things right first time.
Healthcare professionals working in general practice are receiving an increasing number of complex clinical guidelines from multiple specialities. Despite this, there is a low awareness of detail contained in clinical guidelines and coupled with a low level of resource and a shortage of trained Practice Nurses, this leads to significant challenges in the implementation of guideline level care for patients during every consultation.
LungHealth is a form of “satnav” for medicine – prompting more effective decisions but never taking over. The approach is to embed the clinical guidelines for COPD within an intelligent clinical decision support system which leads to the creation of a guided consultation. The system comprises of over 4500 interconnected algorithms offering end-to-end holistic patient management comprising of: diagnosis, pharmacological and non-pharmacological aspects of management. The guided consultation also embeds the experience and learning of 4 Consultant Physicians and multiple respiratory nurse specialists. The system contains medical alerts and educational prompts that provide a solution to “up-skill” healthcare professionals. This in turn allows non-specialists to deliver guideline level diagnosis and management for every patient during every consultation, which addresses healthcare inequality.
Another driver for the product development of Lung Health is the financial burdens faced by the NHS. The current models of care, requirement for resources and expectations from patients are unsustainable. Biswajit believes that simply disseminating guidelines, as we have done for many years, will not change the status quo or prepare us for the future. The focus should rather be on looking for solutions that are scalable, intuitive, are self-sustaining and can demonstrate strong evidenced based outcomes in widely disparate populations.
The Lung Health team believes that many of the answers will be found by creating system wide solutions that overlap skilled manpower resource with innovative technology to create the step change that the NHS requires in order to manage patients within existing budgets and with available resources. The vehicle to address the issues and to thus change the current status quo we believe is the development of a computer guided consultation.
Where is Lung Health today?
Since launch, the innovation has developed significantly, and the team have enhanced and updated the software in accordance with key guidelines. They have also developed a “COPD Diagnostic module” which allows for the diagnosis of suspected COPD in “community hubs” which will serve as diagnostic centres for breathless patients awaiting lung function testing.
The Lung Health team have also forged global partnerships with an expected launch in India. Their aim is to address healthcare inequality in rural India where access to specialist healthcare facilities may be limited. They are exploring the installation of LungHealth COPD software in mobile diagnostic units which would visit rural regions.
“The LungHealth software has been of great benefit to our surgery and therefore our COPD patients, as at present we have no respiratory nurses. It has provided the reassurance that our patients are receiving the care they need at a time when they need it the most. It has provided valuable input and support for our nursing staff.”Rosina Reader, Lawson Road Surgery
The LungHealth guided consultation software is being used as a whole system solution to facilitate remote review during the COVID crisis, to ensure that reviews continued to be conducted for high-risk patients, at times when practices were/are unable to conduct routine reviews. The nurses can access the GP clinical system directly to see the patient’s medical history and the LungHealth software both reads information directly into the consultation and writes the output from the consultation back directly to the GP clinical system. Within the NHS, the LungHealth COPD software is active in multiple localities nationally resulting in thousands of COPD reviews being undertaken monthly.
The Lung Health team have clinically validated the LungHealth COPD software and are demonstrating real world benefits as well as health economic benefits.
Feedback received from healthcare professionals find the system easy to use. The use of guided consultation provides an effective safety net against misdiagnosis whilst prompting the user to consider other potential comorbidities.
Patients with a confirmed diagnosis receive appropriate management to achieve optimum disease control and health related quality of life. Patients receive tailored treatments depending upon the severity of their disease, considering spirometry, symptoms and exacerbation frequency. The software solution is a ‘living’ product, which is constantly under review by a multidisciplinary team of respiratory specialists to ensure its recommendations remain in line with the most recent guidelines.
What is next for Lung Health?
Moving forward, the team are keen to seek an NHS Mandate for the use of the LungHealth COPD platform. It remains the team’s vision to have every COPD patient globally treated through LungHealth decision support software to optimise their care.
The Clinical Entrepreneur Programme
Biswajit joined the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme in 2021 as part of cohort 5.
“The programme gave me access to range or resources and expertise. The network was key; seeing my peers going through the same journey gave me a sense of belonging. The opportunity to showcase my innovation to industry experts and contacts in the NHS gave me valuable insight and provide the best ‘shop window’ for the innovation, one could ever hope for. “Dr Biswajit Chakrabarti, Consultant Respiratory Physician and NHS Clinical Entrepreneur.
Find out more
To find out more about Lung Health and their services, please visit the Lung Health website
TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE THROUGH INNOVATION