Digital Health Age Day 3: Wigan Warriors tackle digital health
Throughout this week Inhealthcare is to be guest editor of Digital Health Age.
It will include articles about Inhealthcare’s mission to save the NHS, why digital health makes sense for both patients and the public purse and an interview with a senior figure from the healthcare establishment.
The mighty Wigan Warriors are using their muscle to help promote the benefits of digital health. The rugby league team are supporting a campaign by Yorkshire-based Inhealthcare to raise awareness of self testing.
Inhealthcare’s new service for the NHS allows warfarin users in Wigan to monitor their treatment at home instead of having to go to clinic every fortnight.
Patients are given a Roche self-testing device and test their blood from home. Readings are sent back to a nurse via a simple automated telephone call or email.
The Warriors hosted a patient awareness day at their headquarters last week. Lewis Tierney, an up-and-coming full back and winger, attended the event and spoke to patients. He said: “We are at the heart of the Wigan community and we will do whatever we can to promote health and wellbeing in our town. We use all sorts of clever technology to monitor our fitness at the Warriors and we encourage warfarin users to find out about this new home-monitoring service.”
Patient expert John Binks told attendees that self testing is “as easy as making a cup of tea”. The former BAE Systems manager has been using the new service since November.
The 84-year-old said: “The service is convenient because you can use it at home instead of going to the clinic every fortnight. It boosts your self confidence and independence and allows you to play an active part in your own health care. I have a better interaction with my clinic and know that I am helping the NHS as well as myself by self testing at home. My therapeutic range has improved since I started the service, which is a win-win situation for me and the NHS.”
Danny Taberner, a 22-year-old university graduate from Westleigh, attended the event to find out more about home monitoring. He is using warfarin after having a massive pulmonary embolism while recovering from testicular cancer.
The young man is keen to begin self-testing as soon as possible so he can pursue his career ambitions as a civil engineer.
Mr Taberner, who has just graduated from Bolton University with a 2.1 degree in civil engineering, said: “Self-testing will give me the freedom to work here, there and everywhere without having to go to the clinic. I can’t wait to start.”
During the event, patients watched demonstrations by nurses, listened to a presentation by Mr Binks and asked questions about the free service.
There was also a raffle to win five signed Warriors shirts. Inhealthcare teamed up with the Warriors to support two home games against the Castleford Tigers and the Wakefield Wildcats. Staff distributed leaflets to thousands of fans attending matches.
Wigan Borough Federated Healthcare is offering the self-testing service to 4,000 warfarin users through 15 GP surgeries across the area.
Angela Abbott, a nurse who runs the anticoagulation clinic at Shelvington Surgery, said: “The self-testing service gives more freedom to warfarin users. It is simple to use and full training is provided.
“Patients have a choice of communication channels to relay their INR readings to their clinic whether they are digital novices or tech savvy.”