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Penguin: automated patient follow-up for reducing outpatient appointments

By Alex Blakoe, Cievert Added 22nd Feb, 2020 Updated 12th Mar, 2020

Penguin is a digital platform that assesses patients remotely to automatically determine if/when they should have a follow-up appointment. This means improved clinical outcomes (early intervention) and reduced outpatient costs (fewer unnecessary appointments).


Currently, patients are seen for follow-up at systematic time intervals, rather than receiving clinical support as soon as they need it. They should instead be monitored via Penguin, which constantly assesses them using personalised questions and any other clinical data available (e.g. medical device readings or blood tests). If any answers or readings are outside of a locally-defined tolerance, Penguin automatically notifies the relevant clinician, who can then follow up with the patient as appropriate.

So, when the patient needs clinical support, they are seen immediately rather than having to wait for their predetermined appointment. Conversely, if the patient is fine, they don’t have to turn up for an unnecessary appointment. This leads to improved clinical outcomes (early intervention) and reduced costs (fewer appointments). There is also very exciting research potential with the data.

This solution is currently being used in the NHS in oncology and gastroenterology, and will soon be used in renal care and orthopaedics. We have plans to further expand to cardiology and mental health, among other clinical disciplines. Because the solution is very flexible, we can develop Penguin for use in any department where there is routine follow-up.

Cievert is well-established in the NHS - their solutions have been used to managed more than 150,000 NHS cancer patients to date.

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