Healthtech start-up secures contract with NHS Lothian in effort to tackle surgery backlogs

A Scottish health technology start-up has secured a key contract with health board NHS Lothian in a bid to cut surgery waiting times.

Infix Support, which was founded by consultant anaesthetist Matthew Freer in 2019, has developed cloud-based software that improves the efficiency of surgical operating theatres and tackles patient waiting list backlogs, alongside a portal to “optimise the patient pathway”. The NHS Lothian contract follows a successful clinical trial with NHS Lanarkshire, where the firm is said to have increased operating theatre utilisation by 27 per cent. A separate independent review by the University of Stirling found that the software that is being deployed at NHS Lothian can improve theatre efficiency by up to 37 per cent.

Freer, chief executive and founder of Glasgow-based Infix Support, said: “NHS Lothian has shown a visionary approach around the use of digital innovation to help tackle the challenge of lengthy waiting times for planned surgery. In a post pandemic world, it is a challenge that has never been more critical with a backlog of people waiting for much needed surgery. We are now in position to help ease one of society’s greatest ills, while saving the NHS budget and pressure by improving the management of existing resources.”

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The firm said it would continue developing its product range over the coming months, while adding to its team and extending its reach across the UK and internationally. It also has a number of further contract wins in the pipeline, which the company expects to announce during the first half of 2023.

The company recently secured a seven-figure external investment from a group of UK and international business leaders and entrepreneurs, while John Waddell, the former Archangels chief executive and experienced non-executive director, was appointed as Infix’s chairman earlier this year. Angela Brown has also joined the team as chief financial officer, while Forrit chief executive and founder Peter Proud is on the company’s board.

Calum Campbell, chief executive at NHS Lothian, said: “We know that waiting longer for surgery can cause distress and deteriorating health for patients. That’s why we are keen to embrace innovation that helps reduce waiting times by optimising the efficient use of our theatres.”

Dr Matthew Freer of Infix Support and NHS Lothian CEO Calum Campbell. Picture: Stewart Attwood

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