Last year we gave up our jobs in Community Development and Regeneration to focus on developing a digital solution to enable the delivery and measurement of the Social Prescribing model of health care. After 16 months of intensive R&D we are about to unveil the result.
We had seen first hand how disjointed health improvement could be. Commissioners struggled to measure the true impact of programmes and services they had commissioned and the social prescribing approach being championed was presenting a number of challenges. Multi sectoral organisations were often working in separate silos which meant that the citizens who needed the most support were often left behind.
We engaged patients and health improvement stakeholders in developing a social prescription platform to better connect those involved in reducing health risks around the needs of the individual patients. We built a prototype and with the help of TechStart NI ‘Proof of Concept’ funding, and tested it in one of the most socially deprived areas of Northern Ireland.
We decided to focus on pre diabetes primarily. Our aim was to enable healthcare professionals to signpost to relevant, quality assured programmes and services which contributed to reducing the diabetic risk of pre diabetic citizens – and it worked. The results were conclusive; participants were actively engaged in their own diabetes prevention plan and their journey was measured. Not only did Body Mass Index and diabetic risk reduce but so did depression and anxiety levels.
One year on, and our team has grown. We have introduced our social prescription software to the Middle East and are working with a Government Health Department to bring patients, healthcare professionals and providers of health and wellbeing programmes and services together to tackle the increase in Type 2 Diabetes.
Our platform will be launched at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester on 7th & 8th September. We have given a number of the UK’s most prominent Patient Experts a sneak peak of the platform and the feedback has been fantastic.
Elemental Software are amongst 12 finalists in the Northern Ireland INVENT Programme 2016. The outcome will be announced at the end of September.