Seminar report: Telehealth, telecare and new technologies in UK healthcare

When we gave some free publicity to the Telehealth, telecare and new technologies in UK healthcare seminar organised by the Westminster Health Forum (supported by Bosch, but costing £190 to attend) I noted that “the most relevant of the web links appear to be broken”. It seems that this standard of organisation continued into the event itself. Despite the gift of a press pass, I’m sorry to say that the reporter who went on behalf of Telecare Aware came away frustrated by the event. Here are some comments for the organisers or anyone else intending to run such an event:

  • 15 speakers in 4 hours (5 mins speaking, 5 mins questions) turns into a ‘death-by-PowerPoint-fest’ with presenters racing through their slides
  • targeting publicity to avoid a mis-match between the speakers and the audience would not go amiss. In this case many in the audience knew as much as the speakers
  • a 20 minute break (squeezed down to 15) is not long enough and small things – like not providing biscuits with the coffee (tough on people who skip breakfast to arrive in time for the start) – matter
  • a post-event networking opportunity should be fully publicised in advance so that people do not plan to run off straight after the event

In sum, it was a manic morning where the few speakers with something new to say did not get long enough to expand on it.

Readers can download our reporter’s notes on the presentations (PDF 4 pages) here. These unofficial notes come with a ‘health warning’. He said “Trying to listen, understand, type and read what was on the screen was not easy!”

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Telecare Soapbox: NHS procurement – bad news and good news for suppliers

By Steve Hards, Editor, Telecare Aware.

Back in November, Telecare Aware dug around a little in the procurement practices of (mostly) local councils in the UK. (Dirty tactics in the telecare/telehealth market) The bad news for companies wanting to sell into the NHS is that there is emerging evidence that NHS organisations are not highly competent in commissioning innovative services and may also frequently flout good procurement practices. The good news is that this is increasingly being challenged and there may be new opportunities not just to challenge tenders, but for the NHS itself to seek redress from companies that misrepresent their capabilities and what they will provide. (more…)