Published on: Thursday 29th November 2018

Our pioneering technology study that has shown it can improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers last week won a highly coveted HSJ Award.

The TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia study, which involves partners the University of Surrey, Alzheimer’s Society and technology provider Howz, enables clinicians to remotely monitor the health of people with dementia living at home. It scooped the ‘Improving Care with Technology’ award in what is the world’s largest healthcare awards programme at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, 21 November.

TIHM is a based on a network of internet enabled devices, such as sensors, monitors and trackers that are installed in the home. Data streamed from these devices is analysed using data analytics and machine learning and any health problems identified are flagged on a digital dashboard and followed up by a Clinical Monitoring Team. The aim is to help people with dementia to stay well in their homes and reduce pressure on carers.

The HSJ judges said TIHM had triumphed over other finalists because it had “evidenced great use of machine learning to solve very real problems” and that ‘the presentation had demonstrated fantastic improvements in patients with specific needs and the panel felt this entry was a truly deserving winner.”

The award was presented to Professor Helen Rostill, our Director of Innovation and Development, Professor Ramin Nilforooshan, our Associate Medical Director for Research and Development and Professors Payam Barnaghi and Emma Ream from the University of Surrey, and Jonathan Burr from technology provider, Howz.

Professor Helen Rostill, said:  “We are delighted to have a won this highly valued HSJ Award following a rigorous shortlisting process that allowed us to showcase the achievements of our pioneering TIHM for dementia study to a panel of senior and influential figures from the health sector.  The judges’ comments show they are as excited as we are about the potential of TIHM to bring about positive change for people with dementia and their carers across the UK.”

TIHM for dementia is part of the NHS Test Bed Programme that is testing digital technologies to positively transform the way healthcare is delivered.

The first phase of TIHM, a randomised control trial involving more than 400 participants from across Surrey and North East Hampshire, was completed in March 2018. Funding of more than £1 million for the launch of a second phase of the study was recently awarded to our Trust by NHS England and the Office of Life Sciences.

The extra funding follows promising early findings from the first phase, showing a significant statistical reduction in neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as depression, agitation, anxiety and irritability, in people with dementia. In addition, qualitative data highlighted TIHM had provided carers with ‘peace of mind.’

Prototype algorithms to identify urinary traction infections, a top five cause of hospital admission among people with dementia, and agitation were also developed during the first phase.

Professor Payam Barnaghi from the University of Surrey, said:  “This is a fantastic win and recognises the great strides made in developing an Internet of Things and machine learning led system that supports a new way of working to support people with dementia in the community.”

This is the third, major award win for TIHM for dementia.  In July, TIHM won the NHS Future category in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards for the south of England. Earlier it was voted Winner of the Best Mental Health initiative at the ehi awards and was runner up and highly commended at the HSJ Value Awards. The HSJ Awards are the world’s largest healthcare awards programme attracting more than 1500 entries.

To find out more about TIHM and how to get involved, call Surrey and Borders Partnership’s Research and Development Team on: 01932 722247