Boris Johnson has a lot to do to deliver the plans for the NHS outlined in the Queen’s Speech.
Making the health service more effective won’t just be about throwing money at it, however, using what’s available more efficiently will be just as crucial.
DXS International plc (LON:DXS) might be small but chief executive David Immelman believes it has a big role in demonstrating how aligning big data with patient records can save the NHS billions.
The company has been a centrally-funded, accredited supplier to the NHS since 2014, but recent advances in data mining combined with its own internally written algorithms will enable DXS and the health service to take a leap forward, he says.
High blood pressure
Hefty investment has upgraded and digitised its core patient treatment offering while a suite of three, new and advanced products is to launch this year.
At the core are solutions that cut costs, improve patient outcomes and saves doctor time, Immelman says.
At present, DXS provides a point-of-care clinical support product.
The new range will augment this and add a focus on managing long-term health conditions starting with high blood pressure or hypertension.
Immelman says there are 10mln hypertensive patients in the UK alone and as with other long-term illnesses the UK’s clinical regulatory body NICE has clear guidelines on treatment.
NICE puts all the information on its website – pathways, diagrams etc– but to follow it all is impossible for a busy doctor, says Immelman.
DXS's algorithms can, in seconds, access the huge amount of data available, read a patient’s record, identify their individual problems and any medicines being prescribed.
GPS for medical professionals
One doctor described it as a ‘GPS for a doctor’, with where you ‘have to go’ to give treatment constantly being re-worked.
“The product prompts until you finally get to the right destination/recommendation in line with the guidance.
“Time is saved, the outcome is right and hospital admissions are reduced as fewer hypertensive people suffer strokes or heart attacks due to the wrong treatment."
An automated system also means non-GP health professionals can take some of the burdens away from time-pressed doctors
There are between 8,500 – 10,000 blood pressure checks carried out daily in the UK, Immelman says, but hypertension often comes with complications that make it difficult for nurses and pharmacists to make a treatment call without a doctor.
But with the DXS’ solution, “You empower practice nurses and health assistants to dispense treatments normally in the domain of the GP. This frees-up expensive GP time without impacting on the quality of care. The solution also gives the patient a better life and saves the NHS and taxpayer money.”
Range of NHS customers
Customers are primary care networks, clinical commissioning groups, individual GP practices and federations and co-ops.
The NHS recently established primary care networks, which brings together practices to cover between 30,000-50,000 patients.
The idea is that by sharing ancillary services such as physiotherapy and pharmacy, the whole treatment process becomes more efficient and cheaper.
Immelman believes this development will aid DXS’ plans, as pharmacists are obvious candidates to take over automated treatment.
Price cap removal
Another boost should come this year when the NHS’ GPIT Network framework comes into force, which will allow GP Practices to receive central funding to buy all DXS products.
Price caps in force previously have also been lifted as part of the new framework, which will help revenues.
Turnover was little changed at £1.65mln in the latest half-year to October, while DXS made a profit before tax of £89,000. (after tax profit 200k)
Immelman does not have a huge marketing budget and says there is no silver bullet to sell its products, but expects word to spread once it becomes clear that the DXS solutions work and do so well.
International sales as well should grow as the NHS-accredited supplier tag carries weight in many countries.
More funding will be required at some stage to execute the plans and that might see the company move its current NEX Exchange listing to a larger, more liquid platform.
But if Boris Johnson is serious about the NHS, there should plenty of appetite among investors for companies such as DXS.