North East health smartcard innovation to be piloted in the South of England

A North East portal which will enable the public to record diabetes medication is to be part of a pilot trial in Wessex hospitals.

The smartcard, used for patients with T1 and T2 diabetes, was developed by entrepreneur Simon Blood from his home in County Durham. Simon developed the innovation after his mother suffered from Sepsis.

Simon was supported with his idea by RTC North’s (RTC) Pathways 2 Innovation team who helped investigate wider market opportunities and introduced him to some key contacts in the North East health sector, including Sunderland University Hospital and the North East Ambulance Service.

The announcement that the smartcard was to be piloted south of the region was made by the lead for NHS England National Diabetes initiative Partha Kar.

Simon Blood was supported by RTC North’s Pathways 2 Innovation team who helped the innovator investigate wider market opportunities and introduced him to some key contacts in the North East health sector, including Sunderland University Hospital and the North East Ambulance Service.

Pathway 2 Innovation programme support the North East Local Enterprise Partnerships’ strategic economic plan and is designed to help Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) protect and commercialise new technologies, products, services and processes and access new markets.

Simon said:

“The help I received from the team at RTC North was invaluable. They gave me some fantastic advice and introduced my product to some fantastic contacts. My smartcard was explored by several consultants from Sunderland University Hospital which boosted my confidence and showed me I was on the right path.

“Meeting the Ambulance Service here in the North East was an extremely beneficial step as it gave me a greater understanding of what is required for the ambulance service in terms of physical access and also data required. So, we re-developed the card design as well as the system itself to better suit their needs.

“It was noticeable that patients were being admitted who were confused and some were unconscious. Patients were unable to give clear answers to questions relating to allergies and this sparked a thought process which effectively ended with us developing the EIO SmartCard. The EIO SmartCard has been adapted as the Diabetes e-passport which is designed to help reduce insulin errors.

“Over time with RTC North, we developed the system further to meet the needs of individuals and healthcare professionals.

“I would just like to thank Carl Brown from RTC and the team for their patience and hard work in ensuring that we didn't lose focus throughout the journey and also for helping us shape the smartcard, the system, the business and also our future.”

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