Edge Hill University is thrilled to be crowned Most Promising Solution winner with partners at this year’s Health Tech Awards for the first-of-its-kind research in detecting deterioration in children.

The industry awards celebrate and showcase exceptional projects, teams, partnerships, technology and organisations across health and care that are making a real difference.

This accolade recognises the University’s involvement in work that uses hand held devices to record patients’ vital signs at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to help with earlier detection of children’s deterioration and has been developed in partnership with the Liverpool-based hospital, the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and System Electronic.

Professor of Children’s Nursing Bernie Carter, said: “It is fantastic news for Edge Hill to win this award with our partners for using digital solutions that will impact on and improve the patient experience.

Professor Bernie Carter

Professor Bernie Carter

“The early identification of clinical deterioration in children is an ongoing challenge across the NHS. Children cannot easily communicate that they are very unwell and rely on adults to notice the subtle signs. This research is both complex and fascinating and we hope that the implementation of the technology will support nursing care and improve the detection of and treatment of deterioration in children preventing the need for admission to critical care.”

Staff at Alder Hey are currently using the electronic devices to record breathing rate, effort of breathing, oxygen saturation, oxygen requirement, heart rate, blood pressure, capillary refill time, temperature and nurse or parental concerns.

The recorded data will automatically calculate an age-specific paediatric early warning score, which categorises the risk of developing serious illness into low, medium, high or critical. These scores and signs suggestive of sepsis are automatically flagged to staff to help them recognise the early signs of deterioration, with a view to reducing emergency admissions to critical care.

It is the first large study of its kind in children in the UK to evaluate the effectiveness of an electronic physiological surveillance system, incorporating both an age-specific Paediatric Early Warning Score and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence sepsis screening guidance.

The study has been funded by a £1.25m grant awarded by the National Institute for Health Research Invention for Innovation Programme.

For more information about health-related research at Edge Hill University, visit https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/healthresearchinstitute/. For course information relating to children’s nursing, visit https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/courses/nursing-children/.