PCL Health embarks on preventive care trial with NHS

PCL Health enables preventive care by driving actionable insights from a wide range of health data.

DISCLOSURE: Longevity.Technology (a brand of First Longevity Limited) has been contracted by the company featured in this article to support its current funding round. Qualifying investors can find out more via the Longevity.Technology Investment Portal.

With its remote patient monitoring platform, British start-up PCL Health is targeting the growing technology-enabled care market, predicted to reach between $350 and $410 billion by 2025. The device-agnostic platform can draw a wide range of data from sources including smartwatches, smartphones and wearable fitness trackers, and provides predictive analytical tools for preventive care.

Longevity.Technology: The COVID-19 pandemic has driven global interest in remote patient care, including the emergence of “virtual wards” in the UK, where patients are predominantly managed at home. By enabling remote patient monitoring and communication in real time, PCL Health can play a role across healthcare, care home and domiciliary care environments. We caught up with PCL Health founder and CEO Deepti Atrish to learn more.

“The way that healthcare operates these days is still predominantly a reactive model,” she says. “When a health problem comes up, there are usually some symptoms that appear and then you take action. But, no matter how fast you take action, you’re always a bit late, and we want to help shift the model from reactive to proactive care.”

PCL Health is about to embark on a trial with the UK NHS Homerton University Hospital in London, which will involve patients being fitted with a smartwatch and monitored using PCL Health.

“They want to see if it’s possible to discharge a patient early and monitor them to see if this can benefit the patient and reduce readmissions,” says Atrish. “This will be a six month trial, involving 40 to 60 patients.”

Preventive care from actionable data

Leveraging vital health data including blood pressure, pulse oximetry, heart and respiration rate, temperature, blood glucose and ECG/EKG, PCL Health calculates an overall health score for a patient. Changes in this score can help spot the early warning signs of health deterioration, and allow the appropriate people (doctors, carers, relatives) to be alerted. If they desire, doctors can use PCL Health’s dashboard to drill down and look at specific parts of the data to support their decision making.

The insights delivered by PCL Health are based on an individual patient’s situation. Each patient onboarded onto the platform will have information about their state of health included to ensure that it is personalised to their condition.

“Your ‘normal’ levels are probably a little different from mine,” says Atrish. “For example, if someone’s normal blood pressure is 140/100, which would normally be considered high, the platform won’t trigger an alert unless it goes beyond that.”

PCL Health
Providing information to multiple interested parties is key to PCL Health’s offering. Within the app is a feature called “My Circle”, which allows users to select who has access to their health data.

“My circle allows you to add your doctor, your carer, your family member, even a neighbour or a friend, and give them permission to see your data,” says Atrish. “They can then see how are you doing and will also receive alerts if there are changes in your health score that need attention.”

In addition to its own score, PCL Health also provides the National Early Warning Score (NEWS), an NHS system for scoring the physiological measurements that are routinely recorded at the patient’s bedside to identify acute illness.

A device-agnostic platform

While PCL Health offers its own standalone and wearable devices for the collection of this data, Atrish is keen to stress that the company’s value lies in the software that provides the insights based on that data.

“The market for health monitoring devices is growing at a tremendous speed, so PCL Health is device-agnostic – we want to be able to plug into and use any of them,” she says. “We are focused on giving doctors, carers and loved ones access to the vital measurements of patients, analysing that data and providing actionable insights.”

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