The UK Health Show took place this week at the Olympia in London and provided a great opportunity for the Health Tech Alliance to observe and interact with technological suppliers and innovators within the healthcare industry and hear directly from key decision-makers within the NHS, NICE, NHS Digital and the NHS Innovation Accelerator.
Many of these speakers discussed the work they had been doing within their own organisations while others focused on outlining their hopes for an increasingly digital NHS. For example, Dr Maruthappu Co-Founder of the NHS Innovation Accelerator, which is playing a crucial role in the uptake of disruptive new technologies, highlighted the ways in which innovative technology can empower patients while also alleviating pressures on clinicians. Dr Maruthappu admitted however, that at present innovation is not seen as a priority within an underfunded and short-staffed NHS. He therefore emphasised the need for a whole-hearted, cultural change in the NHS’ approach to adopting technologies, while suggesting the possibility of tariffs to incentivise the uptake of new products
His views were echoed by David Corbett, the Head of NHS Wi-Fi. Like Dr Maruthappu, he stressed the need to move quicker in adopting new technologies into the NHS and in doing so make sure they align their objectives to the NHS Five Year Forward Plan. For Mr Corbett, a key benefit of adopting new medical and digital technology within the NHS is the ability it gives patients to better manage their own healthcare.
We also heard from Niall Dickson of the Brexit Health Alliance who outlined his desire to see the UK continue to adhere to close regulatory and research ties with the EU. Dickson said that the body’s main concern was that health policy, which is not currently under the EU’s competence, may not be granted sufficient attention during Brexit negotiations. The Brexit Health Alliance are calling on the Government to provide assurances that the health service will not suffer post-Brexit.