23 February 2016
Welcome to Wessex AHSN’s digital health (DH) programme blog. This is week one of fortnightly updates about digital health related topics.
We may even include the odd guest writer, so if you fancy yourself as the new JK Rowling or Philip Pullman, and would like to get involved, please do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow and tweet me: @KatieWessex
Christmas 2015 seems like a distant memory, and here at the AHSN, we have been busy putting together our business plan for the next two years. We are putting the finishing touches to the 2016 – 18 objectives for the DH programme, and as soon as the overarching plan is ready and approved by the board (and NHS England) it will be published on our website.
Back in October 2015, we ran our first technology seminar at the Civic Centre in Southampton, with a start-up company called Speakset.
In a nutshell, Speakset delivers interactive television in the service user’s/patient’s own home meaning professionals, carers, friends, relatives have a secure video link to the service user. It’s a relatively simple device which is attached to the individual’s television along with an easy to use remote control. The seminar was well received with positive feedback from those who attended. Since the event, Speakset has been following up on interest from across Wessex. Another exciting piece of news is the team at Speakset was named in the Forbes Top 30 under 30 Young Entrepreneurs (Europe) 2016 which is great news for them and worthy of a big congratulations.
NHS England’s Five Year Forward View references the Airedale project focusing on technology in care homes as an area of best practice. Here in Wessex, two of our members - Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Southampton City CCG - have been working with the IOW tech company Solcom (whzantelehealth.com) to develop their own models of care for nursing and residential care homes, as a mechanism for reducing trips to hospital and unplanned admissions. We will be supporting the evaluation of at least one of these projects and more information will be available as things progress.
I also attended a Westminster Forum event last week in London with guest speakers including Beverley Bryant, Director of Digital Technology at NHS England, and other big names in the digital health arena across the UK. It was a very interesting session and highlighted a number of key issues that will need to be resolved/achieved as we move forward with our ambitions to introduce more technology to the NHS (and hopefully social care!).
Firstly, it was highlighted how important it is to get the NHS to talk to itself for the benefit of the patient. As a key starting point the digital transformation programmes being delivered across Wessex will certainly help achieve this outcome. Secondly, the importance of developing our online proposition for patients; and thirdly - and arguably the most important going forward - is the collation and use of data being generated by our IT systems.
Personally, I often become dismayed by the lack of reference to social care at events like this, however, I think at a local Wessex level, we have highlighted and exhibited actions which recognise local government as a key stakeholder when it comes to driving the optimisation of technology. The use of data is very topical at the moment, and links with an event being hosted by the AHSN and Optum on 19 April in Southampton about Big Data, which hopefully many of you will have signed up for, although there is still plenty of time to do so if you haven’t already.
I usually like to end my notes with something thought provoking, a quote or something similar, this week I picked Friday’s quote of the day from Forbes: ‘if we don’t make mistakes daily, we aren’t pushing the boundary and challenging the system enough’ - Antonio J. Lucio