Guest blog: Health and Social Care Innovation – are we really learning our lessons?

Hazel Harper, Programme Manager, Health & Care, at Innovate UK has kindly offered readers this guest blog (which is also available on the Innovate UK website).

Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale (dallas) is the largest innovation programme in Health and Care to date. With an ambitious target of touching the lives of over 160,000 people, just exactly what can we learn from this ambitious programme?

 It was no mean feat. With no blueprint combined with delivering business as usual and only 3 years to deliver there are plenty of lessons but the question is how many of them will we really learn or will our incessant need to do things our way or no way remain the longest running barrier to progress we’ve known in this space?

lessons learnt

Insight in to some of the lessons learnt (in no particular order)

(more…)

Important dates for your diary – many free! (UK)

The must-do free digital health event of the next few weeks has to be to go to one of the four final dallas events, in which attendees will get to hear of all the important things that the programme has learned over the past three years. Surely that’s unmissable, or as the flier says, “free but priceless”!

The events are at:

  • Manchester – 12th November
  • Cardiff – 17th November
  • Belfast – 25th November
  • Glasgow – 8th December

Bookings for the first three of these can be made here, for Glasgow, here.

The Cardiff event is being run alongside the TSA International Technology Enabled Care Conference on 16th & 17th November, (and see our recent blog on this too), so you can combine the two.

The Glasgow event is part of the Scottish Digital Health & Care Week, that we also featured in a recent blog.

Another free-to-attend event with a particular focus on SMEs takes place on the evening of the 3rd December in City Hall, London: 21st Century London MedTech. Bookings, and more details, here.

Moving to paid events, albeit very cheaply priced because the Royal Society of Medicine is a charity, the Telemedicine Section of the RSM has four events now open to book:

Both the February and April events are now into their fourth years – and both are regular sellouts, so worth booking soon.

You might also want to hold the 19th May in your diaries for when the RSM & IET jointly run another conference that was previously a sellout: “the future of medicine; the doctor’s role in 2025”. This will be opened by George Freeman, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences,and features a glittering array of experts who will be suggesting what we need to do now to deliver the health & care systems of the future. Bookings will open soon.

The 2nd UCL Festival for Digital Health is now set for 22 February to 4 March 2016 – more details here.

Planning ahead, the search for the best eHealth solution in 2016 developed by an EU SME has begun with the unveiling of the competition’s website and the ability to get mailed information as it emerges.

Good luck if you apply!

Scottish Digital Health and Care Week

7-11 December, Strathclyde University’s Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/digiweek15eps-_2.jpg” thumb_width=”120″ /]This year’s conference theme is “Using innovative technology to enable more integrated, sustainable & person-centered health and care”. It offers the opportunity to learn from across Scotland, the UK and beyond, with a mix of workshops and plenary sessions. Topics include the critical lessons learned when deploying technology enabled services at scale, drawing experiences from telecare, telehealth and eHealth; learning crucial lessons from the experience implementing the UK wide DALLAS programme. Delegates are encouraged to discuss current knowledge base on a range of topics; network with colleagues from across the relevant sectors; and actively consider application to their own practice. There are also multiple events during the week; more information at SCTT’s website. Registration. Hat tip to Mike Clark via Twitter

Another great free event – come to DHACA-day on 7th October in Liverpool! (UK)

DHACA, the Digital Health and Care Alliance, formed earlier this year and already past the 250 members level, is holding its second DHACA-day on 7th October, at Anfield Stadium (yes free tours will be available during the day for those interested).

DHACA, currently part of the TSB-funded dallas programme, was established to grow the use of digital technology in the delivery of health & social care through promoting interoperability and scale. DHACA will be the space where members collaborate on requirements and on solution development, resulting in things being done once, and shared. to achieve this, DHACA is developing a range of member-driven Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that will (more…)

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” take II (UK)

Names again! E-Health Insider today has published a typo-prone summary of a Technology Strategy Board survey of the public’s understanding of “‘health and safety devices”. Unsurprisingly, just as most people would not know what acetylsalicylic acid is (though would be happy to take it when it was called aspirin), so only 10% knew that “‘health and safety devices” meant telecare and telehealth. Not sure I’d get that one right either.

There is better news though. The article also quotes the survey as finding that “38% of people said they did not understand the benefits for both self-care technologies and for health and care apps for smartphones and tablets” which I reckon is fantastically marvellous because it means that 62% of the population did understand the benefits of these technologies, which is a heck of a lot more than I suspect a random sample of GPs would, and shows we have been successful beyond our wildest dreams, especially if those happen to be concentrated in the oldest 62% of the population.

Sadly not all was quite so good as “…the research found that 43% of people would not consider telehealth because they would prefer to be seen by their clinician face to face.” Just as whenever in conversation someone tells me they wouldn’t share their health data, and I’ve asked whether they’d still feel like that if they were lying dying in the street and could be saved only if a clinician had instant access to that data, so I wonder if the question had been posed,  as with our local surgery for non-urgent consultations, “would you prefer to wait 28 calendar days to see your clinician face to face or would you be consider remote consultation within 24 hours”, the answer might be slightly different.

The good side of course is that (more…)

The King’s Fund: Self-Care in the Digital Age

24 June 2014, 11 – 13 Cavendish Square, London

Morning session: 9.00am – 12.30pm
Afternoon session: 1.00pm – 4.30pm

How can the UK manage its health and social care needs, now and in the future? How can new technology aid in the evolution of our perceptions of health and care? And how is self-care being adopted across the UK? Sponsors dallas (Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles At Scale) and The King’s Fund will explore and expand that debate with an audience including government ministers, health care practitioners and patients themselves. This free half-day conference is running twice on the same day; once you register on Eventbrite,  you will be asked whether you want to attend either the morning or the afternoon session. The organizers will then contact you to confirm your place (subject to availability). Registration, information.

Encouraging signs of change

A couple of recent articles have given me hope, after a really depressing session at my local surgery today for an NHS Health Check.  It began when I spotted two adjacent notices in the waiting room, the first encouraging patients to access the surgery’s online facilities, and the second banning the use of mobile devices. It descended further when after producing the form I’d been asked to complete about height, weight, alcohol consumption, family history of disease etc., I was asked every question all over. When I protested, I was told that as most patients don’t fill in the form, or forget it, they ask patients anyway. (Discretion suggested it probably wasn’t the right time to suggest that perhaps that was why people don’t fill in forms…)

However the first article, by Zahid Latif, who heads up healthcare for the Technology Strategy Board, indicates a restlessness with the current use of patient data that appeals to me.  He goes on to explain how the projects in the TSB’s dallas programme (more…)

Digital Health and Care Alliance opens for business; free membership available (UK)

As the dallas programme approaches its halfway point, one of its four projects, i-focus, has formed an organisation to continue the promotion of interoperability across the health & care sector beyond the end of dallas. The Alliance, with the acronym DHACA, will help NHS organisations, local authorities and third-sector providers collaborate and share information about new digital services.  This will significantly help members reduce costs, remove duplication of effort and improve support for independent living and self-management projects, resulting in much-improved patient outcomes. DHACA will operate across the full health and social care spectrum. Targeted at forward-thinking, engaged, health and care professionals as well as technology suppliers, DHACA will provide experienced assistance, trusted processes and in-depth knowledge to:

  • Define and share best practice services, technologies and business models
  • Define and share business requirements for future procurement and roadmapping
  • Better use existing investments, assets and infrastructure
  • Ensure quality, interoperability with other systems and future-proofing

Membership is currently free – more information and joining arrangements here. (Disclosure editor Charles Lowe has been recruited by ADI, as interim director of DHACA, to establish it – the medical apps work previously published on TTA will now be taken forwards in DHACA)

Driving up medical app usage in the UK – part III: conclusions

This series of posts covers some work I have been doing over the past three months: attempting to answer the question of how best to improve the perception by clinicians and patients of the efficacy of health-related apps. This work has been done for the i-Focus project, part of the Technology Strategy Board’s dallas programme.

Part I briefly summarised the EU regulations covering health-related apps. The point was made that any health-related app must comply with data protection and consumer protection requirements, irrespective of whether the risk level is sufficient for it to be classified as a ‘medical device’. Where an app is classified as a ‘medical device’ it also has to be classified so that the appropriate adjudication work can be determined for it to receive a CE mark (Class I, lowest risk, requires least investigation; Class III, highest risk, requires greatest investigation).

Part II summarised the principal findings from discussions with a very wide range of potential stakeholders, from patients to consultants, and from individual app developers to chief executives of app curation companies.  The key findings were:

  • There is currently little academically-endorsed evidence of medical app efficacy, though much anecdotal evidence;
  • There are too many bogus apps around;
  • There are safety worries – for example where clinicians are using unregulated apps to manage medication dosage;
  • The process for obtaining certification is unclear;
  • Some app developers are ignoring data privacy legislation;
  • The business model for achieving sales via the NHS is not well understood.

In addition, a theme running through both posts is that there is an international dimension to this issue, with some countries, notably the US, well advanced in certain aspects.

From these findings, four key conclusions emerge: (more…)

Driving up medical app usage in the UK – part II

Introduction

This series of posts covers some work I have been doing over the past three months: attempting to answer the question of how best to improve the perception by clinicians and patients of the efficacy of health-related apps. This work has been done for the i-Focus project, part of the Technology Strategy Board’s dallas programme.

Part I attempted to summarise the EU regulations covering health-related apps. The point was made that any health-related app must comply with data protection and consumer protection requirements, irrespective of whether the risk level is sufficient for it to be classified as a ‘medical device’. Where an app is classified as a ‘medical device’ it also has to be classified so that the appropriate adjudication work can be determined for it to receive a CE mark (Class I, lowest risk, requires least investigation; Class III, highest risk, requires greatest investigation).

This post summarises the principal findings from discussions with a very wide range of potential stakeholders, (more…)