IoT 3 mins read

Modernizing mental health services in South London

SLaM gives the healthcare industry a major upgrade with IoT and IT transformation.

Sabrina Bohr Sabrina Bohr

During the global pandemic, mental health services have become more important than ever before. According to the World Health Organization, it has triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.  

Unfortunately, for the organizations providing mental health services, it hasn’t been easy. Since in-person visits have been restricted or prohibited, even the best institutions in the world have been forced to think differently to serve the people who need mental health the most. One such organization is the SLaM (South London and Maudsley) NHS Foundation Trust. In response to the pandemic, it quickly started developing and offering remote services made possible by a new digital transformation strategy. That strategy better aligns with the needs of its patients and health services—when visiting in person isn’t an option. 

Getting IT architectural guidance 

SLaM started developing telehealth applications and e-prescription services to help their patients from afar. However, the developers tasked with building new applications needed clear architectural guidance to ensure they were built in a way that could reliably scale. Their current system was mostly a sprawl of Microsoft® Word docs.  

SLaM reached out to Bruhati, a consultancy that focuses on digital transformation, for help. In just eight weeks, Bruhati built an Alfabet-based enterprise architecture tool that fully automated its enterprise architecture management.  

Once in place, a single click in the tool’s interface created a high-level solution design, from business strategy to IT project. All the related, relevant architecture elements were included in a single view: business capability, business process, applications and technologies. 

Improved compliance 

With an enterprise architecture tool in place, SLaM could make smarter IT decisions – and more compliant ones. By building in compliance directly from project inception, SLaM achieves direct savings to the bottom line—and countless intangible benefits to its reputation and user trust. As a government institution, it needed to be extra cautious to ensure that the IT systems being used to build applications that followed all the rules. 

Turning to the IoT  

With an automated enterprise architecture tool in place, SLaM and Bruhati looked for other ways they could improve operational efficiency and provide a better patient experience. To do so, they have turned to an IoT platform based on Cumulocity IoT. One of the first projects is centrally monitoring the temperature and air quality sensors in 150 rooms, and 250 fridges used for medicine and other supplies in real time. 

The platform has automated incident creation, implemented predictive maintenance and alerts, and reduced refrigerated product losses. More importantly, it’s opened new avenues for better patient outcomes by ensuring better air quality, security, and asset tracking via wireless technology. 

The solution frees up the time otherwise spent manually checking the fridge several times per day to more important, more fulfilling work with patients. 

Mental health in high gear 

If there ever were a stereotype that government agencies are slow, it certainly doesn’t apply to SLaM. With Alfabet and Cumulocity IoT, decisions can be made quickly (and confidently) and solutions put in place with the right IT architecture.  

And this is just the beginning. The Trust has high hopes for much more innovation to come with the right digital backbone in place.