Text Messaging a Forgotten Tool in the Digital Health Revolution

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator start-up psHEALTH announce acquisition of the long-standing platform behind psychology-based self-care solution Florence in a bid to deliver personalised and accessible digital health.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been dominated by digital health technology from mobile phone apps to Artificial Intelligence, but Florence, with simple and effective use of the humble text message offers tens of thousands of patients access to this digital revolution.

Caris Marsh, CEO at psHEALTH says: “We are privileged to be given the opportunity to work alongside the NHS community behind Florence and we are excited to be able to bring our healthcare software expertise to this unique solution. At a time when remote care is more important than ever and there are ever more telehealth ‘apps’ and ‘tools’ available, the simplest and most effective solutions can often be overlooked. We believe that the patient-centric approach that underpins this technology is truly unique. We are really excited about what the next 12 months has in store for us as we develop our business on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator. We want to support more patients receiving NHS care.”

Florence (sometimes known as Flo) is a simple digital health solution that engages and motivates patients via personalised two-way messages, supporting patients to self-manage and clinicians to monitor and manage their patients remotely. This focus on simplicity for patients and clinicians has ensured that the solution is highly accessible for patients. Florence has been proven to contribute to a dramatic improvement in quality of life for patients with long-term conditions and boasts a unique and extensive clinical evidence base (across 40 independent studies) showing better and faster clinical outcomes for patients. The innovation is part of the recent second wave NHS Test Bed programme, partnering with Royal Stoke University Hospital, that looks to use Florence to support patients diagnosed with heart failure, with the aim of reducing hospital re-admissions. The results have shown that patients who were supported with Florence have a significantly reduced risk of re-admission to hospital (>50% reduction).*

Florence is also being used to support COVID-19 pathways by East London NHS Foundation Trust providing reassurance to patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 who were well enough to be discharged home, and for patients that were at the extremely high-risk group in the community.

Raguraman Padmanabhan, Telehealth Clinical and Service Lead, East London NHS Foundation Trust, commented on his experience implementing Flo during the COVID-19 outbreak: “Flo for COVID-19 has been a significant addition to the existing protocols and has helped reshape care pathways to facilitate care from hospital to home.” **

In addition to the unique platform, psHEALTH will be partnering with the incredible team from Simple Shared Healthcare, who are delivering and leading the Florence community of practice, to further develop the offering and platform. Around 150 NHS organisations currently use Florence in the UK addition to a number of international healthcare organisations (including in Australia and the US). This acquisition and partnership provide an opportunity for the two companies to bring into the NHS Florence’s 3rd generation platform (currently rolled out in Australia) which builds on the independently proven patient engagement methodology and 10 years of learning with a more sophisticated clinician platform and unparalleled flexibility that fits tightly with best practice care.

Lisa Taylor, director at Simple Shared Healthcare says “Flo bridges the gap between patients and clinicians. She transforms patients from being ‘receivers’ of healthcare to becoming ‘partners’ in their healthcare; from being passive to active; that’s why she is so effective. We are thrilled to be partnering now with psHEALTH to help more patients and to bring our third-generation technology into the NHS to improve the clinician tools inside Florence”

Phil O’Connell, the original inventor of Florence says: “I am delighted to team up with psHEALTH. This combination will enable us to take Florence to the next level and deliver better patient outcomes across the NHS.”

*Evidence from Test Bed study in collaboration with Royal Stoke University Hospital.
**East London Foundation Trust Case Study

For more information visit pshealth.co.uk