Can the NHS save through innovation?

This item is aimed at pharmaceutical companies but references telehealth as an example of potentially cost-saving innovation. It is an excellent, unhysterical explanation of the difficult situation the NHS currently finds itself in. Recommended to anyone who wants to sell technology to the NHS and who needs to understand it better. Saving billions through ‘innovation’ – can the NHS pull it off? (Ben Adams and Andrew McConaghie in InPharm.)

2 thoughts on “Can the NHS save through innovation?

  1. With the push for GP Consortia to take a greater say and direction in healthcare I question the “appetite” for the NHS’s quest for innovation, (savings+innovation=cost?). As a company engaged in Wireless Communications and mHealth rural and remote initiatives the GP Consortia are the very people we need to nurture, influence and become stakeholders in the journey. Our experience has been that delivery, demand and at the end of day the revenue shall derive from three common groups The End user Community, (patients, carers and GP Consortia), Providers, (telcos, medical device vendors, mobile makers etc) and “The money”, i.e. Pharma, biotech etc.

    As a innovator and part of a start-up I have had to find additional skills, diplomacy, patience and “healthy liver” to get the three in room together to here about our “innovative” goods and services, each group have separate engagement, validation and accreditation process which are not always aligned, focused and or fully attainable.

    When governments say innovation beware they mean savings. When industry say innovation they mean creating & driving demand, when patients say innovation they simply mean better basic health provision.

  2. Many of the points that NimishKumar raises are relevant and true, but may not necessarily address the innovation in service supply chain that would streamline delivery options. Accepting that many money-rich but time-poor people in the UK will fund their own telecare and mCare systems and applications, a free NHS will continue to be dominated by commissioners and prescribers of services and products (both pharmaceutical and technology).

    I suspect that this may create a new form of service provider who can deliver a spectrum of commissioned services, many of which will lead to lower costs and better outcomes when they include more technology and less human interventions. These providers will need to make commissioners (GP consortia or health boards) aware of what they can do, and the economies involved, whilst also giving the public confidence in the quality of their services.

    I believe that many of these future providers already exist as the organisations that deliver social alarms, telecare and telehealth services. They have in place the technical infrastructure, the knowledge of the industry, and also the reputation for being service user focused. Furthermore, they operate within robust Codes of Practice that are endorsed both by the industry and by the governments of the devolved nations of the UK. Extending this model to include the employment of nurses, therapists and other care professionals would be innovative without being impossible. Indeed, it would seem exactly in keeping with moves towards social enterprises.

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