NHS England and the UK Government have called all innovators in the UK and overseas interested in testing their ideas to deliver health services in better ways at scale, and in a real clinical setting. The announcement is in line with the NHS Five Year Forward View and will build on the UK Life Sciences Strategy and the NHS Innovation Health and Wealth Proposals.
The programme will be collaboration between 15 Academic Health Services Networks (AHSNs) and will identify five test beds that will receive national support for implementing their idea. These fifteen AHSNs have been at the forefront of supporting new ideas, new technologies and improved services for patients.
The test beds may include combinations of GPs, hospitals, community health teams, social care and the voluntary sector. They will be required to implement innovations on a large scale and will be expected to collect evidence of improvement in patient outcomes. UK-based consortia focused on Internet of Things technologies for health and social care has also been invited.
The test beds will be evaluated on the basis of their delivery of services to patients and the ability to track outcomes and evaluate success. They will be expected to maximise the use of digital technology and data. The successful bids will have to show how their idea offers benefits to patients and how it will reduce inefficiency and provide wider benefits to both the NHS and the UK economy.
According to NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said, the goal of NHS is to become the best place on the planet when it comes to testing new combinations of innovations. He points out that while the NHS may never be the system that pays the highest prices, it can be the health service that is completely open to new and better ways of providing care.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP points out that the NHS has been a slow adopter of innovations that were developed outside the system and has also been slow at rolling out best practices for patients. "The NHS Test Bed programme is about unlocking the potential of the world’s only fully integrated health system as the ultimate platform for assessing the real value of innovations. By doing this we open the door to making the UK once again the best place in the world to invest in and develop medical innovations."
Neil Mesher, Managing Director of Philips, who already work with the NHS on implementing new technological solutions, said: "At Philips, we strive for innovative solutions that help deliver better care at lower costs. Our approach goes beyond technology, drawing on the experiences and insights of patients, providers and caregivers across the health continuum. We warmly welcome this initiative, to help accelerate the adoption of combinations of innovative products and solutions at scale across the NHS."
Source: eHealth News
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