NHS England has announced it will be launching a wave of innovative trials in a bid to modernise care delivery and improve its services.
The NHS is teaming up with key innovators – including IBM, Philips and Verify – in order to explore how technology can help tackle some of the most complex problems facing patients and the health service in general.
Elderly patients, along with those suffering from long term conditions and mental health issues, will be among the first to benefit from the launch of five ‘Test Beds,’ NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
As part of the initiative, health and care workers from seven regions will test and analyse combinations of interconnected devices (such as wearable monitors), data analysis and methods of working which ensure the wellbeing of patients whilst allowing them to monitor their condition at home.
The Test Beds include the distribution of remote monitoring and coaching technology to patients suffering from diabetes in the West of England, which will enable them to improve self-management of their condition. Meanwhile, elderly patients from Rochdale who are at high risk of serious health events will be identified through data analytics and given support to use remote devices and telecare at home, so that their doctors are able to respond and provide care in a timely manner.
The technologies which prove successful will be distributed across the country so health and care teams can utilise and adapt them to their patients’ needs.
During his speech, Stevens explained: “Over the next decade major health gains won’t just come from a few ‘miracle cures,’ but also from combining diverse breakthroughs in fields such as biosensors, medtech and drug discovery, mobile communications, and AI computing.
“Our new NHS Test Beds programme aims to cut through the hype and test the practical benefits for patients when we bring together some of these most promising technologies in receptive environments inside the world’s largest public, integrated health service.”
The Test Bed programme was set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, published in October 2014. It described the development of a number of ‘test beds’ to enable analysis of the impact of novel technologies which offer both enhanced care and better value for taxpayers, trialling them together with innovations in service delivery.
“The way in which the NHS is planning to test & use digital technology to improve the lives of patients ( quality and convenience ) and ease the pressure on front line staff is an ambitious plan for the transformation of the connected consumer to the connected patient. Great to see the NHS emerging as a digital leader and really working with industry to try to solve the huge problems such as managing long term conditions, increasing life expectancy and global financial constraints.” Bleddyn Rees, Digital Health Consultant, Osborne Clarke
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