31 August 2018
The first films about digital health innovations in the NHS have been launched as part of #NHS70DigitalWeek.
Produced by the AHSN Network and NHS England, the films show some of the latest ways the NHS is using digital technology to empower people to take control of their health and care. They feature a range of apps and technology that are being used in parts of the NHS to help people manage conditions in more flexible ways using digital tools and services.
This film highlights the wealth of digital tools currently in use in the NHS, from apps to manage diabetes and epilepsy, to those that reduce A&E waiting times.
This video shows how the Sleepio app records and recommends ways to improve sleep. Now it’s less counting of sheep – and more good nights of sleep – for people like Audrey and Claire:
Changing Health – a self-management app for type 2 diabetes – is empowering people like Sheinaz to better manage their condition. Watch the video to find out more:
Watch the first film here:
Part of the wider work to celebrate and recognise the NHS’s 70th birthday, the videos aim to prompt people to see the NHS as a digital, as well as face to face, service. Both the videos and the broader #NHS70DigitalWeek campaign encourage people to visit www.nhs.uk to find out more about how they can engage digitally with their health.
Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network and lead for the AHSN digital health programme, said:
“Digital innovation has become an everyday part of life. Access to the world’s song catalogue on Spotify, immediate connections with friends on Facebook, tweeting the President of the United States, even app-dating have become part of the fabric of our society. But still in 2018, we do always not think of our nation’s health service in this way.
“We hope that these films start to challenge that perception, because at 70 years old, the NHS is using digital health more and more, and the benefits are huge. As the innovation arm of the NHS, Academic Health Science Networks are supporting the NHS up and down the country to spread the kind of proven digital innovation that empowers people and frees up clinical time. The reality is that healthcare can be in your pocket.”
The seven examples of digital health that are featured in the series via case studies of people who have used the technology are:
The films will be launched over a series of weeks between 24 July and early September and will be added to the NHS Choices YouTube page www.youtube.com/user/NHSChoices as they become available. Watch the first film here.
Sheinaz, a diabetic patient who uses the ‘Changing Health’ programme, talks in one of the films about the benefits of a digital approach:
“Going to a (support) group wasn’t going to be sustainable for me, the other option was the health app. Having the app helps me maintain consciousness of the condition I have and that I have responsibility for my own health.”
Another person who took part in the filming was Audrey, who used to suffer from sleep deprivation and used the Sleepio app. Audrey said:
“It’s amazing, it’s the sort of thing you can do when you are commuting.” After having previously been without sleep for several weeks at a time, she reports she now hasn’t had a bad night’s sleep in over a year using the app that combats sleep deprivation.
AHSNs have highlighted digital health innovation as a priority area for the NHS in coming years, particularly in the area of long term condition management, where the NHS currently spends 70 per cent of its budget.
Digital therapeutics work best when there is a partnership between the patient, their GP and where necessary a team of specialist clinicians or coaches supervising results, coaching and encouraging. The results are powerful – weight loss, blood glucose stability, increased activity, better adherence to medicine, improved self-care, and savings in the longer term to the NHS thanks to fewer complications.
The AHSN Network’s digital innovation programme aims to identify and help spread these innovations, supporting innovators from both the NHS and industry, for the benefit of patients.
In the NHS, new digital services and support are empowering people to take control of their health and care through secure online access to clinicians, personalised and relevant health information, digital tools and advice that helps them to better manage their conditions.