Older patients and people with long term conditions and mental health problems will be among the first to benefit from a major new drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos (22/01/16), NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens will launch the first wave of NHS Innovation ‘Test Beds’.
These collaborations between the NHS and innovators – including Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), IBM and Philips – aim to harness technology to address some of the most complex issues facing patients and the health service.
Frontline health and care workers in seven areas will pioneer and evaluate the use of novel combinations of interconnected devices such as wearable monitors, data analysis and ways of working which will help patients stay well and monitor their conditions themselves at home.
Successful innovations will then be available for other parts of the country to adopt and adapt to the particular needs of their local populations.
For example, the plans being announced today include:
- Patients with diabetes in the West of England being equipped with remote monitoring and coaching technology to allow them to better self-manage their condition;
- Older patients in Rochdale who are most at risk of critical health events being identified using data analysis, and supported to use telecare and remote devices in their homes so that their doctors can provide timely and tailored help as soon as they need it, and;
- People in Birmingham at risk of serious mental illness will be able to make use of technology and apps to manage their condition, linked to a hub which can despatch the right specialist staff at the right time to help if a crisis looks likely.
Addressing the 46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, which is themed ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, Simon Stevens is expected to say: “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.”