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How a rapid AHSN response team helped patients with respiratory illness stay well during Covid-19

Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS community service provider, Wiltshire Health and Care (WHC) had to pause their provision of face-to-face community Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) for patients living with a respiratory condition. As a result, clinicians were concerned that patients with chronic respiratory conditions would not be able to maintain an adequate level of physical activity and that their condition would deteriorate.

In rapid response to the call for support, the West of England AHSN was able to quickly identify a potential solution, matching healthcare innovator to healthcare provider, in order to offer a remote solution to support isolated, vulnerable patients living with a respiratory condition during Covid-19.

The potential solution was identified as a personalised and guided online physical activity programme called KiActiv® Health; a programme encompassing an interactive personalised dashboard to display accurate physical activity data, supported remotely by phone calls with a dedicated KiActiv® Mentor.

The team at KiActiv® – also able to rise rapidly to the challenge – agreed to take part in the project and, through a strong and committed collaboration between Wiltshire Health & Care, the West of England AHSN and KiActiv®, the Keeping Active During Covid-19 pilot was born.

29 participants with a respiratory diagnosis who, under normal circumstances, would have been referred for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), were assessed as likely to benefit from maintaining their physical activity during shielding and were invited to take part in the pilot.

Although just a small scale Covid-19 response project, the pilot presented evidence suggesting that, for certain patients, KiActiv® Health provided an alternative management solution.

High levels of engagement in KiActiv® Health were demonstrated by participants and a statistically significant number of participants reported that they felt more confident in their ability to be physically active as a result.

Deputy Director of Innovation and Growth, Alex Leach said: “Through the swift mobilisation of all project partners, this rapid AHSN response team was able to offer a remote solution to a cohort of vulnerable patients in need of support during the pandemic. A solution was in place just a month after the call for support was received, which goes to show the power of collaboration and partnership working.”

You can read more about the ‘Keeping Active During Covid-19’ pilot in its executive summary published here.

The ‘Keeping Active During Covid-19’ pilot, which aimed to help people living with a respiratory diagnosis to improve the self-management of their condition, was run as part of the West of England AHSN’s Future Challenges programme: a ground-breaking initiative created by the West of England AHSN, in order to tackle unmet healthcare needs in the region.

Facilitating the partnerships and projects within the Future Challenges programme, the AHSN provides support for innovators and local partners to pilot and validate new technologies and services in real world settings.

KiActiv® Health is a personalised and guided intervention that empowers participants to optimise physical activity within their everyday lives, through the use of an interactive personalised dashboard, combined with telephone support from a KiActiv® Mentor.

Posted on September 20, 2021

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