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Ask NHS mobile app scoops innovation award

Sensely has won a prestigious award celebrating the very best of innovation in healthcare in collaboration with the West Midlands CCGs.

At the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN)’s second annual Celebration of Innovation Awards, the Industry Collaboration Award was given for the successful introduction of the Ask NHS App and its integration with the West Midlands NHS 111 Service. 

These awards were established in 2016 to recognise and celebrate the work of individuals and organisations in developing better healthcare and increasing wealth for local people. 107 entries were submitted across the 12 categories, which were assessed by a panel of experts to choose the eventual winner. 

Sensely won the Industry Collaboration Award for the Ask NHS mobile app. Ask NHS is a mobile app that provides full technical integration with the West Midlands NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service, the NHS National Directory of Services (DoS), EMIS Web and NHS Choices.

The Ask NHS app uses Odyssey clinical decision support technology from Advanced, providing safe and appropriate advice to app users. Odyssey is the only decision support system, for assessing acute primary care needs, to be NICE-accredited, and has an outstanding safety record of over 30 million encounters without significant error. Its unique approach covers the full range of acute clinical presentations across the entire lifespan, with the ability to assess multiple symptoms simultaneously. This helps to reduce the chance of clinical risk and ensures users are accurately signposted towards their correct care pathway.

The Ask NHS app currently provides a fast and convenient digital access point to the NHS, giving patients in the West Midlands on-demand access 24/7.

Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of the WMAHSN, says: “We are absolutely delighted that Sensely won the Industry Collaboration Award. It was so challenging to pick out the winners from such a strong field. Every judge was in agreement that all the submissions showed an astonishing breadth of scope or approaches that were truly innovative and able to transform patient care, provide solutions to significant challenges or break down barriers across our region. It was truly inspiring to be involved in judging the entries.” 

Rachael Ellis, Chief Officer for Integrated Urgent Care, NHS West Midlands, says: “We are delighted to now offer our patients of the West Midlands access to Healthcare through the Ask NHS mobile app. Patients across the region can now download the app to assess their symptoms and in the event further Clinical Advice is required then they will be navigated through to our local 111 service. The CCGs are committed to developing digital access to care for our patients. We are delighted our work so far has been recognised by the West Midlands Health and Science Network.”

Dr. Ivana Schnur, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Sensely, says: “Sensely is thrilled to have won this year’s Industry Collaboration Award. It is wonderful to receive an award recognising our collective efforts. This award is a testament to our collaborative approach and I want to thank NHS West Midlands and our industry partners for making Ask NHS a success. The Ask NHS app is setting the industry standard on how to enable access to appropriate and quality healthcare, and deliver innovation into the hands of patients.”

Nick Wilson, Managing Director – Public Sector, Health & Care – Advanced, adds: “The Ask NHS mobile app is a healthcare innovation truly worthy of receiving this prestigious award. It is a welcome recognition from all of us involved in the app’s development and clearly shows the commitment and drive from technology experts in the healthcare sector but also, crucially, what industry collaboration can help achieve. From our experience, we know that patients who contact a health service are looking for fast, detailed advice, and the app is proven to help them make decisions about the best care pathway to suit their needs.