England’s NHS opts for Dutch App in battle against UK Corona variant

Hospitals across the country are freeing up beds with the Luscii COVID-19 Home app

The English NHS health service is rapidly opening ‘virtual nursing wards’ in the fight against the UK’s Coronavirus variant. To make this possible, the NHS uses digital health apps from two companies, including the Dutch firm, Luscii. The Luscii COVID-19 Home app prevents hospital admissions and allows patients to be discharged earlier. This was stated by NHSx, the NHS’s digital unit, last weekend in The Sunday Times.

British Corona variant

The British Coronavirus is wreaking havoc across England. The Corona variant is to blame for the overcrowded hospitals, as previous images from London have shown. The NHS health service, responsible for all healthcare throughout the UK, is doing everything in its power to relieve the pressure. This includes digital care, implemented to prevent hospital visits and admissions. As a result, the available healthcare capacity can be utilised as effectively as possible.

‘Virtual ward’

The NHS has therefore requested English regions to set up ‘virtual wards’. Via an app, patients measure their oxygen levels, temperature and other symptoms at home. A smart algorithm in the app assesses the home measurements and alerts healthcare providers on the virtual ward, if necessary. Patients who are admitted can then use the app to be discharged earlier from hospital. The virtual ward monitors them remotely via the app so they can recover at home and the hospital bed can be used immediately for the next patient.

Luscii COVID-19 Home app

One of the two apps used by the NHS is the Dutch Luscii app. “Our app was already widely used by the NHS for patients with chronic conditions”, says Daan Dohmen, founder of Luscii and professor of Digital Transformation in Healthcare. “When the NHS heard about our program to support COVID-19 patients at home, things developed quickly”. 

Example of a virtual ward in Sunderland; footage from before corona   >

In Sunderland, North England, the app was first set up for the British population and since then, the Luscii team are connecting multiple regions to the app every week. Dohmen: “It’s great that we can help out. And what makes this rapid roll-out extra special is that the projects are completely virtual. After all, we are unable to travel, so our teams do all implementations entirely via Zoom”.

St. Antonius Nieuwegein

Luscii became known to the public through the launch of The Corona Check with the OLVG during the pandemic’s first wave. This digital healthcare service was used by almost 200,000 people in the Netherlands. Development for the COVID-19 Home app also started, in collaboration with the St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein. Research led by pulmonologists Hans Hardeman and Renske Vorsselaars subsequently showed that patients using oxygen together with the app were discharged around 6.5 days earlier from hospital. 97% of the patients were also extremely satisfied with this form of remote care. After publication of these results in the summer, interest from other regions quickly followed. “Our team provides a ‘Zoom walk-in hour’ every week. Through this, we bring doctors and nurses from all regions together to exchange experiences. It is really special that everyone works together so openly and intensively”, says Dohmen.

Also operating in 15 Dutch hospitals

In addition to England, the app is being used in up to 6 other countries, including in Africa. In the app’s home country of the Netherlands, home measurements are rapidly scaling up. On one hand, almost 50% of hospitals are already using the app to support their regular care. On the other hand, there are now around 15 hospitals connected to the COVID-19 Home program, often in conjunction with regional GP groups. They include St. Antonius Hospital, Albert Schweitzer Hospital, UMC

Utrecht, Maasstad Hospital, Jeroen Bosch Hospital, Rode Kruis Hospital, Isala Hospital, Alrijne Hospital, Zaans Medical Centre, Groene Hart Hospital, Meander Medical Centre, Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, and a few others that are currently getting set up.


The Sunday Times – https://bit.ly/3sLxPYa

Research St. Antonius Hospital – https://bit.ly/3okdo1i