21: 18 Months & 4000 Patients Later…With Dr Paul Upton From Ultramed


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On this episode, we are joined by Dr Paul Upton from Ultramed. Paul was the first guest on the show and he discussed MyPreOp – A digital platform built to improve pre-operative assessment for patients and hospitals. Paul returns to the show to discuss what’s happened over the last 18 months, his challenges and successes. All is revealed in this episode.

– What is MyPreOp?
– How have the results been?
– Why aren’t more hospitals using it with more of their patients?
– What kinds of recognition has the technology received?
– What are the plans for growth?
– What would Paul do differently as a medical director after his experience with the Ultramed technology?

What is MyPreOp?

MyPreOp is an online cloud-based form into which patients enter their own medical data as part of the pre-operative assessment process. This includes standard medical history and other relevant questions which would normally be asked by a nurse in person, but do not usually require an in-person evaluation. The widespread implementation of this assessment could reduce the number of appointments that are necessary for hospitals and patients, while maintaining and even improving the quality of care provided.

How have the results been?

MyPreOp has been adopted by 8 hospitals, and assessments have been completed by 4,000 patients in the past 18 months. They have received positive feedback from patients, nurses, and anaesthetists. This feedback and continual improvement has resulted in 73 versions of the assessment tool so far. As expected, improvements will continue to come with the adoption of more hospitals and more patient use.

Why aren’t more hospitals using it with more of their patients?

“It is no secret that many people are resistant to changes to any kind of process, so to this point, the hospitals that have adopted the assessment have only been sending the form to small groups of their patients to test its effectiveness.”

Paul and his team believe that patients and nurses are more than capable of handling this shift in procedure if they are given the chance. Even those patients who are not familiar with technology or do not primarily speak English, may prefer filling out the assessment with the assistance of a family member at home to potentially avoid a hospital visit.

What kinds of recognition has the technology received?

“This technology is ready for widespread adoption into the NHS.”

Ultramed has been termed a “commercial supplier” under the UK Government G-Cloud 10 framework, which smooths the procurement route for hospitals who want to purchase MyPreOp. The company has also recently been accepted into the Digital Health Accelerator Program through the Academic Health Sciences Network. This provides opportunities for networking and collaboration with like-minded innovators in the health and care industry.

What are the plans for growth?

Paul and his team want to change the way that patients receive access to the assessment. Rather than hospitals choosing a small group who will use the form, Paul would prefer that every patient given the opportunity. They estimate that 40% of patients will fill out the assessment prior to their appointments, and that 35% of those patients may not need to come to the typical appointment as a result of the process.

“It takes 17 years after something is found to be innovative and useful for it to get halfway through the NHS.”

What would Paul do differently as a medical director after his experience with the Ultramed technology?

Paul would have spent more time looking around for and learning about innovations in the industry that could have helped him as a medical director. The NHS system is under such high pressure that it often does not even seem feasible to spend time looking, let alone considering implementing a change in procedure, but it could have saved a lot of time and energy.

“What you have to do when you want to change management is relieve pressure first and then make the change.”

Find out more about MyPreOp: https://www.ultramed.co/

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