Stimulating whole system redesign: Organizational lessons from the WSD (UK)

The seventh of 15 expected academic papers arising from the study of the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme has just been published in the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy. The big takeaway is that local ‘ownership’ of new services DID lead to more collaborative practices across the care system BUT that the concept of whole system redesign around remote care is currently unrealistic. With headings such as ‘Misalignment between vision and enactment’, ‘Wider barriers’ and ‘Whole system working: Ambiguity and diversity’ one can see that the underlying analysis is more nuanced than the main conclusion might suggest. Stimulating whole system redesign: Lessons from an organizational analysis of the Whole System Demonstrator programme by Theopisti Chrysanthaki1, Jane Hendy and James Barlow, all of Imperial College, London is also available as a free 10-page PDF download.

A complete list of the WSD papers, updated as they are published, is being maintained here by Mike Clark, to whom thanks for the heads-up on this publication.

Health + Care conference (UK)

A month ago we brought you a preview of some of the telehealth and telecare elements of the Health + Care conference taking place in London today. For readers interested in keeping an eye on what is happening there The Guardian is running a live blog. There is also a press release from Tunstall.

The Guardian now has an extended version of the pre-event video (4 minutes) that demonstrates some of the technologies more thoroughly. How technology can be used in health and social care. Worth watching for its update. Hat tip to Mike Clark.

London Telecare group: new advertising initiative (UK)

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]The London Telecare group (an association of telecare provider services around the capital) has a long history of generating publicity for telecare via bus shelter spots donated by the advertising industry. [TTA July 2006] Now it is moving into print with an advert to appear on June 23rd in the Mail on Sunday’s ‘Senior Lifestyles’ supplement, covering the London and Carlton TV areas. John Chambers, for London Telecare, says “There are very few companies or organisations creating awareness of the telecare and telehealth services available from local authorities and the private sector. Without advertising, it’s no surprise that the public is still largely unaware…that’s something we have tried to turn around and, with very limited resources, our London and South East members have supported our poster campaigns in the past, which gained over £2m in media value using free unsold sites. Now we have devised a press advertisement designed to make people aware of what’s available. We hope that others will take note and follow our lead with greater resources and, hopefully, government funding. ‘Everyone should know!'”

inHealthcare supports and tele-monitors the health of rowing team (UK)

The gruelling GB ROW 2013 race event, where six crews of four people row 2000 miles around Britain unaided for 26 days in an attempt to break the world record, started on 1 June. One of the teams, The Islanders, is being sponsored by telehealth supplier inHealthcare which is helping team member and medic Alan Morgan to monitor his blood pressure and oxygen saturation readings to see how his body is responding to the challenge. No physical contact with support vessels or the shore is allowed. The race is not just a battle for the world record but a battle against the pain barrier as the four men overcome muscle pain, blisters and exhaustion. More info on inHealthcare’s sponsorship. Hour-by-hour updates on the teams and how they are coping.

Related TTA item: Telefonica sponsors diabetic’s Everest climb.

DocCom now on procurement framework agreement (UK)

DocCom, which we reported in February, has developed hospital-based social networking software and has been awarded a grant of £207,000 by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to accelerate its development, has now been put on the UK Government’s latest cloud procurement framework for cloud-based services, G-Cloud iii. Procurement frameworks make it quicker and easier for organisations such as NHS bodies to place orders with preferred providers because they do not have to apply the governance disciplines, or incur the costs, of competitive tendering each time. Press release.

Doctors wild about…what works

In the first half of the following blog item the author makes some valid points about doctors being quick to adopt mobile devices but that they were also quick to discover that the available apps are not much use in their work. The second half turns into a ‘knock Apple and big-up Windows 8 on tablets’ session. But then, as the author is Bill Crounse, MD, Senior Director, Worldwide Health at Microsoft, it would be surprising if he didn’t take that opportunity. Doctors wild about….. what works Hat tip to Bob Pyke.

UPDATE: related item, thanks to Toni Bunting: Health apps won’t reach core NHS patients (The Guardian). An NHS commissioner, writing under a pseudonym, also bemoans the lack of focus on appropriate apps and/or their use in the NHS. What the author focuses on is that the majority of NHS users are “the elderly, deprived and poorly-educated” and these people are less likely than most to be wielding and using smartphones.

The UK has a problem with the cold

Each year, thousands of people die preventable deaths because of cold weather and a 56 page report by James Lloyd for The Strategic Society Centre teases out the issues and makes some policy recommendations. It is thoroughly done and even contains a recommendation for CCGs to use telecare to monitor people (particularly those with dementia) at risk from cold. (Pages 5/45/52) Excess Winter Deaths, Winter Fuel Payments and the UK’s problem with the cold (PDF download) Hat tip to Melissa Daniells, Portsmouth.

ATHENE tutorial at Design4Health

The Assisted Technologies for Healthy living in Elders: Needs Assessment by Ethnography (ATHENE) project, funded by the Technology Strategy Board under its Assisted Living Innovation (ALIP) Programme, will be running a tutorial session at the Design4Health conference in July. The session “will be of value to people involved in the design and development of assisted living technologies, health and social care professionals involved in planning, management and delivery of assisted living services, CSCW and social science researchers, and commercial researchers and consultants working in the field. Comprehensive notes will be provided and other relevant material will be available on the ATHENE website. The presenters – from Queen Mary University of London, Warwick University, Lancaster University and Barts Health NHS Trust – are particularly associated with developments in methodologies for the study of domestic environments and practices associated with the participative design and co-production of technologies.” To participate, register for the Design4Health conference.

Design 4 Health Conference 2013 (UK)

3-5 July 2013 Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Design4Health 2013 will bring together designers and creative practitioners with researchers, clinicians, policy makers and users to discuss, disseminate and test their approaches and methods. They will explore creative approaches and perspectives to enhance understanding and experience, and improve efficiency of health and wellbeing services and products. Info and registration.

Smart vests, ‘granny pods’ and robot friends: future living for older people

Here’s a rather odd article that was published in the UK’s Financial Times’s weekend supplement: High-tech devices to meet housing and care needs of older people. It is odd because it’s an eclectic compilation of examples of tech and a ‘granny pod’ for older people to live in (from the ‘States). As a result, the article lacks a coherent vision based on current trends for living independently with tech support. Heads-up thanks to Charles Lowe.

WebRTC may revolutionise communications for older people – quietly and soon

Real time communications over the internet (WebRTC) already happens via applications like Skype and other messaging services but what if anyone using a web browser could just switch on their microphone and webcam and talk to someone else? The proposition that setting up the applications with their accounts and quirky interfaces is a barrier for non-techie people, particularly older ones, is quietly demolished. Care-related communications and the reduction of social isolation becomes a whole lot easier. Well, those readers using Chrome and the latest Firefox beta browsers already have that capability and a long article (6 web pages) in speculates that other browsers (with the exception of Apple’s?) will not be far behind. With WebRTC, Real-Time Communications Come to the Browser. The article gets very techie half way through but, for the context of care, there is an important point towards the end – the WebRTC protocol requires the user to give permission for the browser to access the microphone and webcam, which will allay concerns about breaches of privacy. Hat tip to Sande Olson.

Telekinesis to help paralysed people – gets closer

Happy to add another ‘tele-‘ to our range of interests when it’s as interesting as this…a relatively untrained volunteer controls a flying model helicopter drone my means of thought via an electrode cap, a computer, and wifi. Article about it here. Heads up thanks to Toni Bunting, TANN Ireland.

[This video is no longer available on this site but may be findable via an internet search]

Related item, also thanks to Toni: Use Universal Gesture Control From Any Room In Your House.

100,000+ and counting: 3millionlives (UK)

In 2012 an estimated 100,000+ new users were connected to telecare and telehealth systems according to a 3millionlives (3ML) press release today. The figure, 3.3% of the five-year 3ML target, is based on a Telecare Services Association (TSA) survey of 80 organisations. The increase does not take into account the number of new telecare connections one might have expected without the 3ML initiative or the net change owing to ‘user churn’. But at least someone is trying to assess what is happening, which is good. Press release (PDF)

QS’ing, Google Glass and other wearable tech on BBC’s Newsnight (UK)

Here’s one for UK-residents only owing to tech restrictions – unless other readers know how to access it via a UK proxy server – it’s an item on the BBC’s Newsnight programme yesterday (available via the BBC iPlayer for six more days) and it covers various forms of wearable technology. The 15 minute slot beginning at 34 minutes includes a report to demonstrate forms of the technology and a discussion about the associated ethics. The staggering conclusion is that it is awesome technology but we should worry about how the companies that collect data from it will use the information. Newsnight 3 June 2013. Heads up thanks to Mike Clark.