Three of the best – digital health events at the Royal Society of Medicine for 2016

The Royal Society of Medicine has two unbeatable benefits to offer conference attendees: virtually every world expert is keen to present there and, because it is a medical education charity, charges are heavily subsidised. As a result you get the most bang for your buck of any independent digital health event, anywhere!

And just now the offer is even more attractive as if you book for all three in the next 14 days (ie by 12th February) the RSM will give you a 10% discount on all three!

On February 25th, the RSM is holding their first 2016 conference: Recent developments in digital health. This is the fourth time they have run this popular event which aims to update attendees about particularly important new digital heath advances. For me the highlight will be Chris Elliott of Leman Micro who plans to demonstrate working smartphones that can measure all the key vital signs apart from weight without any peripheral – that includes systolic & diastolic blood pressure, as well as one-lead ECG, pulse, respiration rate and temperature. When these devices are widely available, they will dramatically affect health care delivery worldwide – particularly self-care – dramatically. See it first at the RSM!

I’d also highlight speakers such as Beverley Bryant, Director of Digital Technology NHS England, Mustafa Suleyman, Head of Applied Artificial Intelligence at Google DeepMind (who’ll hopefully tell us a bit about introducing deep learning in to Babylon), Prof Tony Young, National Clinical Director for Innovation, NHS England and Dr Ameet Bakhai, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. It’s going to be a brilliant day!

Book here.

On April 7th the RSM is holding Medical apps: mainstreaming innovation, also in its fourth year. Last year the election caused last minute cancellations by both NICE & the MHRA, who are making up for that with two high-level presentations. Among a panoply of other excellent speakers, I’m personally looking forward especially to (more…)

Soapbox: The burning technological platform for person-centred care

Rising demands of an aging population are putting increasing pressure on care providers across health and social care. But the technology and thinking that can help alleviate some of those pressures is analogue in a digital world, argues Tom Morton of Communicare247.

Analogue thinking in a digital world
Integrated, person-centred care is seen as a driving force for building public services around individual needs. It aims to bring care out of the hospital and into the community and home to cope with the growing burden of the 3 million people who will have over three long-term conditions by 2018. It will also help acute hospitals to address the ever increasing costs associated with our aging population.

Meanwhile life in our homes and communities is becoming fragmented. One in four (2.9 million) people aged 65 and over feel they have no one to go to for help and support, according to a 2015 report from Age UK and The Campaign to End Loneliness(1). With research indicating that social isolation leads to higher mortality, what point is there keeping people out of hospital, if only they are left home alone, and without the necessary support?

Person-centred care will have minimal success if we do not recognise this fact; people need someone to look out for them. And current approaches are not building the foundations that society needs to help grasp the nettle of providing round-the-clock personal care. (more…)

Age UK publishes its 3rd Care in Crisis report

Care in Crisis 2014“, the third edition of their Care in Crisis report was published by Age UK last [grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]week.  This is the first update since the 2012 report and and contains the details of funding for social care in the UK.

Age UK say that the Care Bill which is currently progressing though Parliament and has just completed all its stages in the House of Commons, has addressed some of the concerns about the framework for care and support for older people. Also, the government’s commitment to transfer £3.8 billion from the NHS (Better Care Fund) for joint NHS and local council decisions about funding for health and care services from 2015 is seen as a positive move.

However this funding can only mitigate and not solve the huge reduction in the availability of services caused by a combination of the recent real term cuts in spending and the increase in demand due to demographics. Between 2005/6 and 2010/11 public funding for older people’s social care stagnated and from 2010/11 to 2013/14 public funding for older people’s social care (including transfers from the NHS to councils) decreased by 10 per cent in real terms according to the government’s Health and Social Care Information Centre. This reduction in spending in the face of increasing demand has meant that more and more councils are only providing care for those in substantial or critical need.
Without substantial growth in the overall funding envelope, says Age UK, the Government’s aspirations to “transform the social care system to focus on prevention and the needs and goals of people requiring care” cannot be achieved.

This well researched report has some excellent data and an analysis of future funding requirements which would be invaluable for anyone trying to understand the current state of the UK care scene.