United Kingdom

May 24, 2021

UKIO 2021 to Debut Collaboration Between Fujifilm and the NHS on the FDR Xair System’s First European Real-World Community Trial

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This month’s UK Imaging & Oncology Congress (UKIO) will see Fujifilm unveil the results of Europe’s first real-world trial of the FDR Xair portable x-ray system in community care for the first time. The trial, a collaboration between Fujifilm UK, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, significantly reduced hospitalisations.

The FDR Xair x-ray system, initially developed with a focus on domiciliary care, is designed for use in unconventional environments. First launched by Fujifilm in Japan, its portability and operability see the FDR Xair unit used inside patients’ homes, nursing homes, and emergency medical care.

A lightweight, compact, and highly portable digital x-ray machine utilising Fujifilm’s patented imaging technologies, the FDR Xair system can generate high-quality diagnostic images at a low dose. In addition, the device coupled with Fujifilm’s cloud reporting solution allows response teams to x-ray patients remotely, access and send data to hospital reporting systems, and make clinical decisions about patient care. This can be further supported using cloud-based AI tools away from hospital and in people’s homes.

The audience at UKIO 2021 will be presented with a review of the pioneering community use of the FDR Xair x-ray solution in Europe and will learn how Fujifilm UK worked with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) to form a dynamic partnership to conduct the real-world trial between June 2020 and January 2021. At the heart of the partnership was an ‘X-ray Response Team’ – a unique NHS pre-hospital emergency care team, which used the principles of hospital trauma assessment away from hospitals in community settings. The team comprises a NEAS trauma paramedic, a radiographer and an emergency medicine clinician.

Results of the trial (now available online) showed a significant improvement in patient experience, with approximately 40% of patients given x-rays avoiding hospitalisation. Those admitted to hospital benefitted from an initial assessment, with patients requiring care referred to the appropriate service based on an informed, multi-disciplinary clinical pre-hospital assessment. There was also an improvement in NHS efficiency with ambulances able to respond to other 999 calls instead of taking patients to hospital and reducing pressures on staff in the emergency and radiology departments.

Running through a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, the trial also demonstrated how such innovations could help create extra acute care capacity by minimising emergency care demands among non-COVID patients. In this way, this use of technology was particularly relevant to non-COVID patients with long-term conditions who may have been at higher risk for hospital-acquired COVID-19 infection if admitted to the hospital. In addition, it was beneficial for patients living in rural areas who were housebound, elderly or frail.

The trial outcomes will be shared in a public launch in early July 2021 by the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Alongside the presentation of these trial results for the FDR Xair solution, Fujifilm UK, a Gold Partner of UKIO 2021, will also use the event to connect with clinicians, customers and healthcare managers via the UKIO 2021 virtual platform. New product launches from Fujifilm UK at UKIO 2021 will include:

  • FDR D-EVO III detector – with flexible film-based TFT, which reduces detector weight and decreases the risk of TFT fracture from external shock. The FDR D-EVO III was the world's first glass free detector when it was launched at RSNA 2019 and is an evolution in form and function
  • FDR Visionary Suite digital room solution – the next generation of the ever-popular Fujifilm digital x-ray suite with new positioning features and a sleek new design
  • Fujifilm Digital Pathology Solutions – introducing the new pathology solution from Fujifilm, which offers an open platform approach and combines digital pathology hardware, software and service from a range of experienced and innovative providers

Fujifilm UK is planning a range of educational and plenary sessions in conjunction with radiology professionals, which will cover topics including Diagnostics in the Community, along with the opportunity for UKIO delegates to take virtual tours of the core product portfolio.

Allan Elborn, General Manager, Fujifilm Medical Systems UK, said:

“As the NHS transitions to community healthcare hubs and aims to reduce hospital admittance, these new ways of delivering services, that COVID-19 has expedited, must be a big part of the NHS’ future.

“This unique collaboration is a first for Fujifilm in Europe and leverages our heritage in image quality and image processing, with the very latest in cloud computing and AI. There is a focus in the NHS Long Term plan on reducing health inequalities, ensuring patients get the care they need closer to their homes and relieving pressure on A&Es. The UKIO community will learn from this trial that the X-ray Response Team can address these issues utilising the FDR Xair system. In addition, being able to image vulnerable or rural patients in their own home improves access and provides a more comfortable, less stressful experience for these patients. As a result, we have seen a significant reduction in the need for hospitalisation, meaning a decrease in hospital staff pressures and further potential efficiency savings, whilst also enhancing patient experience – this is a win-win.

We see a clear focus by the NHS on providing screening away from acute services and within the community. Thanks to the initial success with the FDR Xair unit, Fujifilm is working with the team in Northumbria to trial further community screening solutions within our portfolio. Fujifilm is looking forward to building upon the success of this partnership so we can ramp up the pace and scale of change for patients across the UK."

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s lead radiographer, Deborah Henderson, said:

“This initiative has been made possible through the willingness of all partners to work together to combine clinical expertise. Being able to embrace this technology and innovation to validate it has given us a fantastic opportunity to improve patient care and experience further. We are very excited about what else we can do in the future.”

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Deputy Medical Director, Professor Michael Norton said:

“Our patients and their families have told us how important it is for them to be assessed and managed at home if possible. Creating partnership systems that allow this to happen safely and effectively will allow us to improve patient care and reduce pressure on our emergency departments. We believe that pre-hospital X-ray is an important tool in helping us build a system of care around the patient’s needs.”

Photo left to right: Deborah Henderson, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Lead Radiographer; Michael Norton, Deputy Medical Director, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; William Passmore, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Emergency Medicine Clinician; Allan Elborn, General Manager, Fujifilm Medical Systems UK.