As a trained midwife, a few years ago I decided to pursue my passion for creating a positive social impact using digital health-tech by immersing myself in the ever changing and innovative world of health and care technology. Last year, this journey brought me to 8foldGovernance where I had the opportunity to merge my clinical skills with healthtech, to support a broad range of innovations that are changing the lives of patients and healthcare professionals on the frontline.
There was no better place to start. As one of my first assignments, I was delighted to work with the wonderful team at Anya (formerly known as LatchAid). Anya is a digital health company that has developed a much-needed breastfeeding application that is available on iOS and Android devices. It’s commissioned by NHS trusts’ to support a very clear and growing gap in maternity services.
With breastfeeding rates in the UK as low as 1% at 6 months and 0.5% at 12 months – the lowest in the world, it leaves much to be desired at the work required to enable true, supportive, timely and tailored support for families navigating the world of parenting and feeding choices.
Improving clinical safety with DCB0129
Created and monitored by midwives and healthcare professionals, it has been both a fantastic opportunity and great pleasure to work with a healthtech company like Anya that is truly embedding the DCB0129 standard for clinical safety and in the process, finding more opportunities to increase patient safety, reduce harm and improve outcomes.
Anya is unique in its use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology which helps to provide on-demand answers to both common and uncommon concerns and issues related to parenting and breastfeeding at all hours of the day. The application offers a user-friendly platform that connects midwives and health visitors with communities of pregnant women to support and navigate their antenatal and postnatal care pathways.
Understanding the core functionalities of the platform was vital when implementing the DCB0129 standard. This involved close collaborative working with the senior management team to help identify and address any potential risks. Through a process of risk stratification, we highlighted and rated the risks identified before looking at ways to further improve both the application and the core business functions in terms of their design, processes and training requirements. This led to the creation of the Anya:
- Clinical risk management system
- Clinical risk management plan
- Clinical safety case report
- Hazard log
- Swift analysis
The work was carried out over a period of 6-8 weeks with all design elements, policies and procedures now fully embedded into the architecture and culture of the business. As a result, the design and implementation of any new Anya features instinctively incorporates key considerations around clinical safety and risk management. Furthermore, risk monitoring makes it easier to pick up any new issues that may arise while also providing a clear process for reporting, acting on and mitigating any further risks.
With all the evidence hosted in the 8fold DTAC Portal, the Anya team can easily share their DTAC status with NHS providers, streamlining procurements and leaving space to focus on important things like growth instead of regulation.
A shared mission
Supporting the team at Anya has been a rewarding opportunity personally and professionally. Not only has it allowed us to achieve our mission of ensuring that “transformative health technologies reach everyone who needs them”, but for maternity service providers, it offers the reassurance needed for new innovative health and care technologies like Anya, to be safely used on hospital wards, in maternity clinics and during home visits. In conjunction with the NHS provider’s obligations to carry out the DCB0160 (Clinical Risk Management: its Application in the Deployment and Use of Health IT Systems), it becomes an application that healthcare clinicians can trust, but most importantly can feel confident using with their patients.
For those women on the pregnancy and birth continuum journey, we’re pleased to offer peace of mind and assurance that the healthtech they’re using promotes clinical safety, helping to make their maternity experience using the Anya app uniquely positive and clinically safe.