Affigo CIC was established by a team of clinicians, academics and software engineers. This is an academic based social enterprise.
Funding received so far:
£5,000 Do it Award
£9,900 Awards for All
About Affigo CIC
We are a Manchester-based social enterprise company established in December 2015. A team of clinicians, academics and software engineers, we work closely with mental health service users to develop innovative digital technologies which we test in the health service to ensure they are safe, acceptable and effective. We aspire to provide the self-management system of choice across the UK initially, but also internationally.
We set up a social enterprise because we believe this approach will deliver the biggest gain for helping with mental health problems. Rather than limiting our products for use within an academic setting, we want to improve our ability to make our products available beyond the research context. We want to support further research and develop new products that enhance the ClinTouch technology so that it can help people with long-term and enduring health problems.
ClinTouch is both a platform technology and a stand-alone app that helps people with psychosis start to manage their own symptoms. It is based around a Smartphone app developed by a team of service users, leading clinicians and academics, software engineers and health professionals at The University of Manchester and Manchester NHS Trusts.
ClinTouch is built around a Smartphone application which triggers, collects and wirelessly uploads symptom data in real-time to a central server at the clinical team base. The provision of diary entries encourages service users to record information relevant to how they are feeling, allowing for greater contextualization of data, leading to more informed discussions between service user and healthcare professional. Graphical information highlighting general mood and behaviour patterns allows the service users and clinicians to track their progress and understand their experiences more clearly.
Starting in 2013, we have built ClinTouch into an end-to-end system in community mental health teams in Manchester and South London so that summary data and personalised early warning alerts for relapse are available for healthcare staff. Summary data are viewed by healthcare professionals and are streamed into e-care records.
ClinTouch is safe to use and is the only SMI system to have robust safety data: only 5% of users with psychosis reported increased anxiety or paranoia.
Confirmed in 2011, ClinTouch measures positive and mood symptoms accurately as benchmarked by gold standard rating scales.
ClinTouch is acceptable to 40-50% of a representative sample of people with psychosis, 90% of whom continued to use it consistently for at least 3 months.
ClinTouch is acceptable to healthcare professionals: in our largest trial, 100% of professionals accessed the ClinTouch system on the team desktop an average of 24 times over 12 weeks.
Compared to standard care, ClinTouch leads to significantly faster improvement in psychotic symptoms in early psychosis.
Findings from our extensive qualitative work show that people feel a greater sense of empowerment and self-awareness of their symptoms and experiences over time, resulting in improved self-management.
Affigo’s Journey to Social Entrepreneurship
Members of the Affigo team worked closely with UMIP (University of Manchester) following successful clinical trials and development of the ClinTouch platform which was supported by funding through the Medical Research Council over a period of five years. The team worked closely with UMIP with a view to commercialisation of the ClinTouch product into Mental Health Trusts throughout the UK. The team were involved in the first Innovation Optimiser programme gaining support from UMIP in the following areas:
One to one sessions
Awards application support
Business model generation
Intellectual Property Advice
During these sessions, the team identified that Affigo should be established as a social enterprise and joined the Just Social course.
Following this course, they secured an UnLtd award of £5,000 to engage a social enterprise consultancy to support them to build an early stage business case with a view to agreeing the assignment of intellectual property from the university and establishing Affigo’s legal structure as a Community Interest Company. This followed with securing a grant from Awards from All to support the path to commercialisation, develop a transition plan and income generation strategy.
Throughout this work, the Affigo Directors have developed new enterprise knowledge as well as building the capability of the team to run their own business.
Affigo have now secured further funding through the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GMAHSN) to roll out ClinTouch across the new Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust. Added to this, Affigo are in discussion with 10 Mental Health Trusts with a view to rolling out ClinTouch on a wider basis.
Affigo are currently undertaking a social value review which will produce a social value report based on the GMAHSN grant, early measurement shows the following areas of impact:
Improved patient experience of care
Better self-management of symptoms
More efficient workflows
A reduction in the number of relapses and unplanned hospital admissions
Better management of medication