Connect Me wins Digital Service Transformation Award

The Connect Me remote monitoring service was named as Digital Service Transformation winner at the Holyrood Digital Health and Care Awards last week.  The award was one of a number given to sector organisations and leaders during this year’s conference event.

Connect Me is the name used in Scotland for a free service to carry out remote monitoring of blood pressure (BP) in primary care.  It is accessed via mobile app, website, SMS, or automated phone call, promoting digital inclusion.  The work delivered through the programme was shortlisted for two awards for its positive impact on managing hypertension through monitoring blood pressure.

Hypertension is the biggest remediable cause of stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) and is a major contributor to renal failure and dementia.  The management of hypertension through appropriate lifestyle advice or prescription of antihypertensive agents substantially decreases the risk of developing cerebrovascular disease and mortality.  Around 30% of adults in Scotland have high blood pressure and this will increase as the population ages.  Around half are undiagnosed and only 40% of those diagnosed are fully controlled (this is worse in more deprived area).  It is the second most common reason for attending General Practice in Scotland, with more than 1.2 million appointments a year.

Through the Connect Me Programme, a “Once for Scotland” approach provides a standardised clinical pathway.  To date, over 87,500 patients have used the pathway and it has avoided more than 300,000 in-person appointments, reducing the burden on primary care.  Positive outcomes include increased patient self-management and in turn reduced secondary complications and associated cost savings.

Speaking after the awards, programme lead Morag Hearty said:

We’re delighted to win this award as a testament to all the hard work by our programme team and all our local NHS Board partners who have been key to taking it forward from the initial tests of change and TEC to the current national DHAC programme.  Thanks also to our other partners who have consistently supported this programme with their expertise including NSS/PgMS, NES, industry and Scottish Government policy and clinical advisors.  On the night, our Clinical Lead, Prof. Brian McKinstry, acknowledged this programme as being probably having the largest cohort of people using digital remote monitoring to manage hypertension across Europe and beyond at present.”

Connect Me team on stage with Award

Connect Me team with the industry partner and wider programme support from NSS and DHAC.

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