A new partnership is developing an innovative app to predict and prevent patient safety incidents for people recovering from brain injury or other brain conditions.
People who had a traumatic brain injury often experience psychological problems. This can lead to self-harm or lashing out at others, including healthcare professionals.
Colleagues at Northern Care Alliance’s Salford Royal Hospital are working with information technology company Decently to develop the AI-driven app to help clinicians identify challenging behaviour earlier, so they can prevent patients’ mental health deteriorating.
Teams working in neurorehabilitation currently have some systems to assess agitated behaviour and record incidents. But the new app, Melo™, adds to this and simplifies data collection with graphs and smart analytics to support clinicians in making more evidence-based care decisions.
The programme has secured initial project funding as part of the 2022/23 Salford Innovation & Improvement Fund – with funding going towards a clinical research post at the hospital, co-creation workshops, user testing and deployment onto a neurorehabilitation ward, followed by a full evaluation of clinical outcomes and adoption.
The work is also supported by Health Innovation Manchester, with Decently having been accepted onto the GM Research & Innovation Health Accelerator Programme. This will help shape the evaluation approach for Salford, together with building the overall Melo idea for wider spread and adoption.
Dr Alistair Teager, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, is leading the work at Salford Royal. He said “We are excited to be working with Decently to share our specialist insight, to help ensure Melo™ is built in the right way and ultimately that it helps clinicians make better decisions for our patients.
“Reduced incidents can help improve patient experiences and outcomes as well as improve working conditions for colleagues.”
Around 50 Salford colleagues have shared their experience and insights to prepare for the pilot phase of using the app.
Kerry Rose Watts and Anna Lee – both Senior Assistant Psychologists at Salford – are helping to deliver the implementation and evaluation phase of the project. This includes staff awareness, training and support.
Making a difference
Decently’s co-founder and product lead James Chapman added: ““The funding from Northern Care Alliance – which we won through the Salford Innovation and Improvement fund – not only provides us with the ability to deliver the pilot but it also allowed the creation of dedicated research posts within the hospital. Having Kerry and Anna on the ground will effectively give us ‘eyes and ears’ to learn in real-time how Melo™ is making a difference.
“We are really proud of the partnership approach we are building together and look forward to working with Kerry, Anna and the wider Salford team over the coming months.”
Research Assistant Kerry Rose added: “The Melo™ pilot is a really exciting initiative to see how we can work together to share our clinical experiences and help better shape future services for our patients. I hope the pilot will demonstrate how we can start to make sense of behaviours that challenge.”