Author Archives: Carina Birt

‘Locating Sensitive Data’ in Professional Security

Before organisations can calculate the risks around sensitive data, and put in place appropriate protection, they must first have visibility of where that information resides -and where copies might exist across the company. James Paton, CEO of SynApps Solutions, says that, even post-GDPR, many businesses lack that visibility.

Read the full article in Professional Security here.

SynApps Accelerates Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s Digital Transformation

Integrated Paperless Patient Administration Solution Provides On-Demand Records Access

Hatfield, UK – December 9, 2019 – SynApps Solutions, the content management and process automation company, has transformed document and patient records management for Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, reducing administration, freeing up space and making access simple.

Across the Trust’s diverse operations, clinicians and administrative support teams process around 3,000 live or new patient records each day and call up a further 250 legacy records from its archives. Before 2016, this activity was paper based, relying on large teams of people to access the correct files in advance of patient appointments and get them to where they needed to be.

To improve efficiency, reliability and the quality and consistency of patient care, and to be able to meet the latest Government and Department of Health requirements around digital patient records management and information security, the Trust needed to modernise its processes and capture and manage patient records and correspondence electronically.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust chose SynApps Solutions because it was a proven supplier of integrated healthcare record solutions to the NHS and, as an independent provider, it could tailor its systems to the needs of the Trust and deliver in its required timeframe.

SynApps Solutions deployed Alfresco Content Services, a full-featured electronic content management system, as its digital repository for scanned medical records, where they can be quickly called up by any authorised healthcare provider at the point of need, via the Trust’s in-house Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system.

“Whether it’s a consent form for surgery, notes from a previous outpatient appointment, or trend information about outpatient cases, clinical notes can be called up at the click of a button now,” explains, Liam Kennedy, Deputy chief operating officer, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. “The ease of access, and ability to spot trends, means better patient care and patient outcomes, which is our priority. The solution SynApps has provided makes a huge difference.”

Efficiency savings have been substantial too. Closing on-site medical records libraries has freed up valuable space for use as part of the Trust’s investment in research and development, and more than 26 administration staff have been freed up for other work elsewhere across the Trust.

“The new paperless administration solution at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is further demonstration of SynApps’ expertise in the UK healthcare sector,” adds James Paton, CEO at SynApps Solutions. “We know how important robust document and records management is and are delighted to make such a positive impact on clinicians and patients alike.”

Read the Case Study here. 

SynApps Transforms West London NHS Trust’s Document & Patient Records Management

Modern, easy-to-integrate Alfresco system allows NHS Trust to improve search, reporting and more

Hatfield, UK – October 14th, 2019 – SynApps Solutions, the enterprise content management specialist, has overhauled the document and patient records management of West London NHS Trust, improving user access to content, the ability to search and reporting.

SynApps works with a number of organisations in the UK health sector and became involved with West London NHS Trust when it became clear that the Trust’s legacy system for its document and patient records management was not fit for purpose.

Users were unable to search text in the Trust’s millions of documents and individual patient records, making it cumbersome and time-consuming to find documents. Trying to generate basic reporting metrics was clunky and slow at best, and often impossible.

“Access to documents and patient records is critical to the smooth-running of the Trust and our previous system was expensive, slow and starting to cause major issues for us,” said Graham Birrell, central records and EDMS manager, West London NHS Trust. “It was clear we needed to change and we started to look at the options available.”

The Trust had to decide whether to upgrade its existing system or replace it, and it was becoming increasingly clear that a replacement would offer the most potential for providing the more modern and improved experience users needed. It was important to be able to integrate the new system with Rio, the Trust’s patient administration system, as well as increasing accuracy and productivity, and improving overall service delivery.

For enterprise-level content management, Alfresco stood out as the obvious option for the Trust. Not only did it have a modern feel to it, and come with some great APIs, when Alfresco introduced the Trust to its strategic integration partner, SynApps Solutions to implement the new system, the Trust was immediately assured it had made the right decision.

SynApps swiftly demonstrated that Alfresco offered a lot more functionality than before, such as the ability to preview content, drag and drop documents, easily upload files and display folder contents. The whole experience of using the system was much easier, faster and clearer, while it is has also integrated with other systems easily and transformed reporting.

“I have been in the NHS for over 20 years and I can’t sing the praises of SynApps highly enough,” continued Graham Birrell. “They’re extremely responsive, even out of hours – which tends to be when we contact them – even though this isn’t in their contract. They put enormous effort into the preparations and the transition to the new Alfresco system, smoothing the way and doing exactly what they promised.”

West London NHS Trust, formerly West London Mental Health NHS Trust, is one of the most diverse providers of mental and physical healthcare in the UK, providing integrated services across 30 sites. SynApps has a strong track record in working with such health organisations, a result of its ability to understand the specific needs and challenges they are facing, according to spokesperson, job title, SynApps.

“Our work with West London NHS Trust is a further example of the success we have had within the UK health sector. It’s a market we have a deep understanding of, and we know how important document and patient records management can be and the impact they have on service delivery.”

AI support is transforming early lung cancer diagnosis globally

Clinical studies show that radiologists supported by software created using machine-learning algorithms detect significantly more cancerous structures or nodules than human-only readings

By Daniel Drieling & Frank Niggemeier of MeVis Medical Solutions

Lung cancer is the number one cancer globally, for men and women combined. Yet it is notoriously challenging to spot early enough for positive treatment outcomes. Usually symptoms occur in late stages of the disease when successful treatment becomes more and more difficult. Unlike various other types of cancer, such as  breast cancer, which can be checked for in a number of different ways, it takes targeted medical imaging to determine what’s going on inside our breathing apparatus.

That’s why governments internationally are increasingly launching targeted screening campaigns – like NHS England’s mobile lung health checks, where portable CT scanners are being driven out to areas of the country where rates of lung disease are higher than average. The idea is that by looking out for the earliest signs of problems among at-risk groups (smokers, those working in potentially harmful environments, and so on), health services will save more lives, and reduce the significant long-term costs of treating late-stage cancer.

Keeping pace with demand

The potential flaw in this plan is that qualified radiologists are not an abundant resource and, as more images are taken, their workloads will soar. Supported by standard, static imaging solutions, even the most experienced radiologists can take up to 10 minutes (or longer) to read a patient’s lung scans in sufficient detail to be able to inform next steps.

It is fortuitous, then, that artificial intelligence is now sufficiently mature and robust to offer a solution. It’s a technology we’ve been working with in a range of cancer detection solutions, and from 2014 we’ve been applying AI and machine learning to reading lung images. By showing the software all sorts of cancer-based images, even the most subtle early signs, we have trained our computer-aided detection algorithm to spot suspicious structures that could be cancer, which even the most expertly-trained eye might miss.

Developed using machine learning techniques, Veolity’s algorithm aims to recognise even the subtlest potential signs of lung cancer, so that it now offers an indispensable and highly stable diagnostic support tool. Combining this technology with radiologists’ own readings  is leading to the best detection rates ever known – an impressive improvement compared to human-based readings alone, according to clinical studies of computer-aided detection success rates. This is crucial – one supports the other: radiologists benefit from valuable automatic features, while retaining complete control of their diagnostic process.

Accelerating diagnosis

Together, human and machine are now detecting even the most difficult to spot signs of cancer – the signals that might otherwise have been overlooked, especially where radiologists are under increased time pressure. Importantly, the software has the potential get through those workloads at high speed too, allowing experienced radiologists to comfortably and reliably assess more cases per hour.

It isn’t only in the reading of baseline studies and complex follow-up comparisons that AI-based technology is leaving its mark, and lightening workloads. Veolity automatically extracts lung nodules and provides comparable volumetric measurements that help to assess findings. It also makes short work of planning further patient treatment, by matching findings and country-specific reporting guidelines including management recommendations.

For hard-pressed health services, and at-risk populations, use of AI-based detection techniques in mass-scale lung cancer screening is a win-win.

Thanks to our implementation of Veolity directly for large OEM healthcare equipment providers, and strategic distribution partnerships including that with SynApps Solutions in the UK, MeVis Medical Solutions AG is the world’s leading specialist in image-based lung cancer screening solutions, with established deployments on every continent. Veolity’s extensive global market penetration illustrates the scale of the technology’s potential in making more of radiologists’ time, and improving outcomes for lung cancer patients.

SynApps helps accelerate roll-out of NHS mobile lung checks

8 Trusts are already in discussions to deploy its Veolity solution, which enables radiologists to review or validate ‘lung MOT’ scan results at speed

  • NHS England aims to check the lung health of 600,000 individuals over the next 4 years, via CT scanners in mobile trucks in supermarket or workplace car parks, to get ahead of cancer
  • SynApps Solutions is the UK distributor of Veolity, from MeVis Medical Solutions AG, whose medical image processing software integrates with existing NHS PACS or VNA patient record systems

Hatfield, UK – June 11th, 2019 – SynApps Solutions, the enterprise content management specialist with a large customer base in UK healthcare, has reported soaring demand for a new software solution – Veolity – which helps radiologists review or validate lung CT scans at speed, as the NHS rolls out mobile lung health checks.

SynApps is already in talks with 8 NHS Trusts about the product from strategic partner, German medical software specialist MeVis Medical Solutions AG, as part of an NHS England scheme to take travelling lung clinics to supermarket car parks and other high-footfall public locations. The NHS has allocated around £70 million to fund 10 projects, which initially will target regions with high rates of lung cancer.

The initiative, designed to improve cancer survival rates, will create increased workloads for radiologists who will need to interpret and validate high volumes of new lung scan results within an acceptable timeframe – in addition to their existing pipelines. Veolity targets this scenario by providing an optimised reading workflow. Further, Veolity helps to identify, segment and calculate the proportions and make-up of pulmonary nodules in individuals’ scans. Radiology teams can use the software to perform an automated first review of patient scans including current-prior comparisons. After the initial reading, CAD findings alert the radiologist to regions of interest that may have been initially overlooked.

“A radiologist performing 10 lung studies per day could gain back two hours of their time, by using the software”, according to Jason Scholes, CTO and co-founder of SynApps. “With the shortage of trained radiologists, having access to tools that can help process workloads more swiftly, while maintaining high accuracy of analysis, is vital,” he notes.

SynApps, the UK distributor of Veolity, is ideally placed to implement the solution for NHS Trusts, many of which already source their patient record systems from the company. SynApps can provide full integration with hospitals’ existing picture archiving and communication system (PACS) or vendor-neutral archive (VNA) systems, along with appropriate advice and training.

SynApps, in partnership with MeVis, is experiencing high levels of interest from across the NHS. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first in England to pilot the Veolity solution. “We hope to be involved in many trials like these,” Jason says.

Since being appointed a distributor for Veolity last year, SynApps has attended joint events with MeVis, to promote the solution to the UK healthcare market. “The reception has been fantastic – very positive indeed,” Jason says. “While a good proportion of the interest is coming from Trusts tasked with delivering the NHS lung clinics, we’re also getting requests to cope with incidental health checks/referrals from GPs. Veolity is a necessary tool for larger hospitals, and in time we expect to see this kind of automation aid become a mainstream part of their digital strategies.”

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and causes the most cancer deaths each year, so early diagnosis and prevention strategies are increasingly important. Low-dose computed tomography (CT) is recognised as an effective form of medical prevention among groups at higher risk of developing lung cancer.

The new checks mean large volumes of medical imaging data must be acquired and read – in a standardised and efficient way, ensuring high diagnostic precision – when radiologists are an increasingly scarce resource. Veolity fills that gap, and makes more effective use of radiologists’ time, by combining images of solid pulmonary nodules and findings from prior studies to efficiently create clear reports. These inform next actions, including further analysis. The software improves workflow and enhances quality in lung diagnostics, especially in high-throughput environments, such as routine lung checks.

About MeVis Medical Solutions
MeVis Medical Solutions specialises in developing software applications that combine innovative medical image processing and workflow support, bringing the precision of scientific studies to everyday work environment in hospitals and medical offices.

More at https://www.mevis.de/en/