Speed of technology uptake (UK)

These four stories seem to hang together…

The first, from eHealth Primary Care, concerns Dr Mike Bainbridge’s (NHS Connecting for Health’s clinical architect) address to the NHS Confederation conference last week. Referring to the whole system demonstrator project under way in Kent, Cornwall and Newham, he said there is an urgent need to get such systems in place in the NHS.

In connection with the conference, the NHS Confederation published a ‘futures debate series’ discussion paper on ‘Disruptive Innovation’ which has comments on ‘tele-health and tele-care’ [sic]. As much of the movement to introduce these technologies has been based on producing savings it is interesting to note that the paper asserts, without any clear justification, that the people consulted in its writing believe that telehealth and telecare “may not produce major savings but is likely to have a significant impact on where money is spent in the system, shifting it from hospital to out-of-hospital care.”

The third is a substantial item where Iestyn Williams of the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, discusses the reasons for the slow uptake of medical technology in the NHS in England and how barriers to adoption could be overcome.

The fourth describes ‘a virtual NHS’ created at a university in Wales in an attempt to help Wales “avoid the same mistakes England made when integrating new technology into the health service”. The lab is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe.