Digital technology to prevent health issues from going undetected in severe mental illness (SMI) patients has been developed by leading NHS owned digital health company Health Call on behalf of Northeast and North Cumbria Academic Health Science Network (AHSN)

The Award-winning organisation has developed a digital solution to increase the uptake of Annual Physical Health Checks for people with SMI, which is set to help thousands of patients across the Northeast and North Cumbria.

People living with an SMI have a much lower life expectancy. The most common causes are long-term health conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, people with SMI are also much less likely to take up annual physical health checks, meaning opportunities to pick up on early signs of diabetes, stroke or heart problems are often missed. Therefore, early intervention is key in preventing these issues from becoming more serious. But clinical teams are struggling to meet national targets of conducting health checks with 75% of people diagnosed with SMI.

Accessibility of check-ups, usually held in a clinical setting, has also been an issue, as some people find this environment stressful or may need additional support to attend appointments.

Health Call is proud to have developed an innovative digital solution to allow clinic teams to conduct Annual Physical Health Check-Ups with people with SMI in the comfort of their own homes or in a setting where they feel most comfortable. This aims to make check-ups more accessible, increase uptake and improve the early detection of any health concerns or potential risks.


Digital Solution Kitbag


The project has developed 33 kitbags containing a BP Machine, class III scales, tape measure, point of care device to measure HbA1c and Lipids, and a 4G tablet with the Health Call app, which provides a digital pathway to record results.

The portable kits will allow teams greater flexibility to perform health checks for HbA1c, lipids, weight, BMI and lifestyle questions around smoking and alcohol consumption. Health care professionals performing check-ups will be guided through a series of prompts on the app. Results will then be input into a safe and secure portal received directly into GP’s Electronic Patient Record (EPR).

Paul McCourt, Regional Digital Mental Health Lead, NEY NHS England and NHS Improvement, said:

This technology has the ability to transform the way Mental Health and physical care is delivered, providing clinical teams with the access to integrated clinical care and the flexibility to meet patients’ needs and increase uptake of APHC for people with SMI. It has the potential to help close the physical health gap for people living with Severe Mental Illness in our region and make sure everyone has access to the care they need.

Claire Graham, Head of Customer Success at Health Call, said:

We are thrilled to have developed an innovative solution to improve outcomes and access to Annual Physical Health Checks for people living with an SMI. The solution will provide clinical teams with a kit and digital solution which will allow them to offer care to patients who routinely wouldn’t want to attend their GP practice. This solution will improve the early detection of physical health issues and contribute to improving life expectancy for people with SMI.

If you would like any more information on how we could support your organisation with a digital solution please get in touch with [email protected]. To see Health Call’s other products and solutions please see here.