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Report: Innovations and the NHS

Topic : NHS Type : Report

The NHS is facing an exponential increase in challenges as a result of a growing, ageing and digitally savvy population. Coupled with a rise in chronic conditions, this has led to increasing demand in the UK’s healthcare services. In light of this, NHS England is projecting a £30 billion funding gap by 2020. Undoubtedly, the NHS must make bold transformations to ensure it is fit for purpose in the 21st Century.

Emerging healthcare technologies and innovations can provide at least part of the solution to these challenges. Evidence from other industries strongly suggests technology can provide substantial cost efficiencies for the NHS, create value for patients and even advance practice. While there have been some promising ventures and partnerships, like MedCity and Digital Health London, the adoption of innovation and use of technology in health services is simply not happening fast enough. Having interviewed fourteen healthcare professionals and organisations, including accelerators, startups and NHS representatives, our research has identified the following key barriers to innovation:

  • A lack of awareness among the public of the benefits and capabilities of digital health services, combined with patient concerns regarding confidentiality;
  • A lack of support available to digital health innovators, from the ‘idea generation’ stage onwards;
  • A lack of clear communication from the NHS on standardised points of contacts, and processes for piloting and clinical evidence gathering. Despite a number of reports1 and steps taken to address the innovation gap, there remains a perception that not enough is being done to encourage innovation in the NHS. This paper reviews the current state of play for innovation in the NHS and provides recommendations on how to radically increase the number of ventures and partnerships in this space.

Source: Youth Health Parliament