New technology to “unlock” NHS records to revolutionise how we take medicine

New technology which can “unlock” medication records has been awarded £1m in fresh funding by Innovate UK.

Developed by UK-based startup CONNECT Care, the technology takes data that is currently siloed in medical records and transforms it into contextualised, personalised information that helps patients and health professionals make crucial links between medicines and their impact on an individual’s wider health.

In a national first, this secure online platform will use a patient’s NHS number to make this crucial information available. 

The technology will be developed and brought to market thanks to an injection of £1m in fresh grant funding from Innovate UK. The funding was awarded in two phases, with £615k invested in late 2022, followed by an additional injection of half a million pounds (£495k) in recent weeks. CONNECT Care will use this funding to take their ambitions to digitise medicines forward.

Currently, making medicine data accessible and understandable is a vital missing link in healthcare. Records are either hard to access, or kept in paper format: making it extremely difficult to get information to the right people, at the right time. This means that people aren’t alerted to the potential side effects of a new medicine or the possible interactions it may have with medicines they are already taking. 

Based on an individual’s actual medical records, CONNECT Care’s technology unlocks existing prescription data held by GPs, pharmacists and other health teams. Via a software platform, they can then provide crucial insights to patients and care teams, such as whether a new prescription may increase a patient’s likelihood of falling. Or if a certain combination of medicines may cause dehydration, meaning a patient will need to drink more fluids. 

Through the process, their aim is to ‘digitise the brain of a pharmacist’ and help people reduce additional health complications which poor access to medicines insights creates. 

An early version of this technology won the recent #CareHackathon at Digital Health REWIRED - an innovation competition to design new solutions to improve social care outcomes.

This new integration of their technology builds on the start-up’s wider work to digitise medicines and create the first comprehensive, single source of truth on medicines data for patients and health professionals. 

Issa Dasu-Patel, CEO of ConnectCare, comments:

“Prescribed medicines are the most common intervention in healthcare; there are billions of medicines being taken by millions of people every year. But medicines have been excluded from the digital health revolution. We are joining the dots and unlocking the vast benefits that better insights on medicines can bring to patients and health professionals. Using just an NHS number, we can create personalised, contextualised insights that will help people stay well.  We’re so grateful to receive this additional Innovate UK backing so we can scale this application of our software and move a step closer towards creating a single source of truth for medicines data in the UK.”