£4bn NHS Tech Move will Unleash Confidence in UK Companies

PatientrackOpinion Article by Donald Kennedy, Managing Director at Patientrack.
New confidence can be taken by healthcare technology and solutions companies across the UK, following the government’s latest announcements on NHS IT investment.

Promising £4.2bn for healthcare technology over the next five years, including £1.8bn to allow the NHS to become paperless, has serious implications for improving patient safety, ensuring patients get the timely compassionate care they deserve, and in providing healthcare professionals with the tools and the information they need to save more lives and meet the ambitions of the NHS for health and social care.

Confirming the financial support for technology means that the UK’s innovators can gear up to provide helpful answers to NHS challenges. This really does mean listening, not just selling IT to the NHS. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to work collaboratively and make the most of the UK’s national assets for the future of safe and efficient healthcare delivery to patients throughout the country.

Any technologist might argue that placing the right information into the hands of clinicians when they make decisions for and with their patients, should be an easy thing to do in 2016. But, whilst a good number of the UK’s healthcare organisations are racing ahead with digital advancements, many frontline NHS staff, even now, still face the frustrations of relying on pieces of paper to record and retrieve vital information on their patients.

Putting useful technology and useable information into the hands of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, has the power to prevent patients coming to harm and deliver a safe and efficient service.

Commitments to technology investment to enable this means that the UK’s army of inventive small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), can more confidently than ever make the investments needed to deliver against NHS needs.

The healthcare technology industry in the UK should see this as a commitment from government and senior leadership - one which it can now respond to in a positive way and with the determination needed to help the NHS do good things for patients and for hard-pressed staff.

This is an opportunity to extend collaboration and partnership between the NHS and the UK's SMEs, and to offer the NHS a real chance to work with companies that will pause and listen to the actual needs of healthcare organisations and staff, and how information needs to flow within and between health and social care teams.

It means that the NHS should no longer need to rely on the one size fits all approach of the world's software giants, but that it has the opportunity to work with well-equipped and resourced UK companies that can help it deliver against the real and pressing local and national clinical priorities.

Other reviews too have stressed the importance of technology in helping the NHS deliver better and more affordable care. Recent work, such as Lord Carter's report on 'Productivity in NHS Hospitals', references the drive to achieve the NHS paperless agenda by 2020.

Some of the technologies of real value to the frontline doctors and nurses of the NHS, are those which allow staff to identify their most unwell patients and do something about it as early as possible. These are being delivered now by UK SMEs. Recent findings from management consultancy firm McKinsey, for example, found that vital signs monitoring systems can alone save the NHS as much as £300m per year. Add to this local innovation with this technology by staff at pioneering trusts like Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to tackle deadly conditions like sepsis and acute kidney injury, and the impact can be not only much higher, but much more crucial to people - allowing NHS professionals to prevent harm and save lives.

Ingenuity like this will no doubt be of interest to Professor Bob Wachter as he commences his review of where technology has worked well in the NHS.

Technology works well, where real collaboration takes place - something the UK's SMEs are in a prime position to achieve with the NHS. The launch of DigitalHealth.London this week, a programme which aims to bring together clinicians with healthcare providers, entrepreneurs and industry to speed up the adoption of digital health technologies, is another opportunity to encourage these partnerships, an area that ministers like George Freeman are watching closely and with good reason.

Confidence in the UK's innovation base, in the NHS and in the people across those sectors who are willing to work together for the good of patients, is most certainly a positive thing to have.

Most Popular Now

Interactive Health Apps May Inspire Heal…

Just like real doctors and nurses, online health tools with good - but controlled - communication skills can promote healthier lifestyles, according to researchers. However, if their tone is conversational...

Read more

Augmented Reality Visor to Dramatically …

Employing new photonics technology, European scientists are developing a new Augmented Reality surgical visor in a bid to improve accuracy of interventions, showing anaesthetic and medical data while superimposing a...

Read more

UK and Italian Health Tech Firms to Help…

Data sharing ambitions set out in newly published sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) have been given a boost by a new strategic partnership between data management specialist Stalis and Italy's...

Read more

Call for Papers: EHB 2017 - IEEE Interna…

22 - 24 June 2017, Sinaia, Romania. The 6-th edition of the International Conference on e-Health and Bioengineering, EHB 2017, will take place in the city of Sinaia, Romania. This year...

Read more

From Health Apps to Nursing Robots - A G…

25 - 27 April 2017, Berlin, Germany. Around the world the subject of e-Health is steadily gaining in importance, whether it involves electronic patient files, online video consultations or any of...

Read more

Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin: C…

Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin supports innovative startups that combine medical knowledge with smart technologies, with special focus on behavior change, diagnostics and genomics, big data and analytics. Startupbootcamp provides mentorship...

Read more

Philips Teams Up with German Startup One…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced a partnership agreement with German digital health company Onelife Health to jointly develop innovative connected health...

Read more

EU eHealth Competition 2017

The eHealth Competition is an initiative that rewards the best eHealth / mHealth solutions produced by European SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Its objective is to support business success of...

Read more

Philips and LabPON Plan to Create World…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) and LabPON, the first clinical laboratory to transition to 100% histopathology digital diagnosis, have announced its plans to create a digital database of massive...

Read more

Use of Mobile App Reduces Number of In-P…

Patients who underwent ambulatory breast reconstruction and used a mobile app for follow-up care had fewer in-person visits during the first 30 days after the operation without affecting complication rates...

Read more

Technology Boost for Health and Social C…

Health and social care organisations aiming to be fully compliant with the government’s Personalised Health and Care 2020 plan, can now access electronic health record (EHR) and healthcare integration technologies...

Read more

Philips Introduces Advanced Radiology So…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, has unveiled new advanced radiology solutions at the 2017 European Congress of Radiology (ECR). In response to today's...

Read more
(HEALTH IT) SPACE - Take a look at who has just Joined