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Welcome to AIM

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Welcome to AIM

Clinical rollout of Advice & Interactive Messages (AIM) for health – the Florence SMS texting telehealth service. Browse the website by clicking the links on the left.

 Following its success locally, NHS Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made an offer to CCGs and their member practices across the country to learn how to adopt a simple telehealth application, Florence, for the benefit of their patients (see the website at ...Simple Telehealth).

The Product

Over the last three years we have developed clinical protocols with interactive and information messaging and trialled them in around 25 PCTs/CCGs across England – mainly primary and community care settings, but some secondary care applications too (heart failure, child asthma, renal, urology, cancer, pain management).

We have found that Florence, our simple telehealth model, provides tools for clinicians to engage patients interactively with their own healthcare to achieve better and faster health outcomes, better adherence and increased productivity compared to normal care and better engagement.

Florence complements the approach taken by the 3millionlives initiative which aims to increase the uptake of telehealth and telecare at scale over the next five years, to improve the lives of at least 3 million people. Exposing more people with lower levels of need to the benefits of simple telehealth solutions could help to encourage greater uptake of telehealth services for those with more complex needs.

The Approach

Our approach is to engage frontline practitioners in general practice teams to experience the effective use of telehealth to empower patients to use telehealth as an enabling tool. Patients then take more responsibility for their health and wellbeing in line with goals jointly agreed with their GP or practice nurse; and clinicians enhance their clinical management of hypertension, asthma, and smoking cessation as direct examples of how the Florence (or Flo) application works.

The Evidence

We have published results of a Health Foundation funded SHINE project describing our experience of using Florence to aid GPs & practice nurses in control of their patients’ hypertension (see Cottrell E, Chambers R, O’Connell P. Using simple telehealth in primary care to reduce blood pressure: a service evaluation. http://bmjopen.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmjopen-2012-001391). These improvements should contribute to reducing deterioration of long term conditions and prevention of avoidable hospital admissions – so helping CCGs with their QIPP targets and meeting the indicators in the NHS Outcomes Framework.

The Project


We are holding a series of replicable conference style workshops. The workshops will explain the project to interested CCGs and general practice teams, provide training and finalise arrangements to get started which will be subsequently followed by implementation.

A local health professional telehealth facilitator will be recruited and funded by the AIM project to support individual practices in signing up patients and reporting on outcomes from their application.

The Ambition

We hope that participating general practice teams will recruit up to 50 patients using several of the clinical protocols on offer. So if our vision works, we’d have up to 30 CCGs recruiting patients (including those already using Florence) who use the service for 14-90 days, by summer 2013. The length of use of telehealth depends on the purpose - if it is to establish whether a patient has hypertension then that should take less than two weeks; if it is to aid clinical management of poorly controlled hypertension then that might be for 2-3 months. 

The Support

Through the collation of various innovation project funding streams we managed to bring together sufficient core funding to support this national NHS innovation dissemination project.  To make this project possible on its current scale, like minded commercial and NHS organisations volunteered to support the project, pledging over £300,000 of additional assistance.
Without whom this project would not be possible:

Department of Health
Midlands and East SHA