Industry and NHS join forces to drive adoption of innovation

Government announces seven 'Test Bed' sites across England

Seven healthcare organisations have been named as ‘Test Bed’ sites for a new Government initiative to drive adoption of innovation with the NHS.

Launched as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View, the sites will collaborate with industry to evaluate the real-world impact of new technologies, offering both better care and better value for taxpayers.

This will provide the funding and the opportunity to work alongside partners to test out new approaches that support patients to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, while potentially transforming and improving the way that we care for our elderly and those managing long-term conditions

A Department of Health spokesman said: “There is no shortage of innovation in the NHS, but too often innovations do not have the reach or impact that would be expected in other industries. This is due to innovations being tested in isolation from the complementary NHS services needed to unlock their full potential. Innovations have also been implemented without rigour and discipline, generating little evidence about how to achieve impact in real-world NHS settings.

“The test bed programme provides the opportunity to combine different technologies with innovations in how services are delivered in the NHS. This might be a new service delivery model for people with dementia that combines wearable devices linked into mobile or other digital technology, implemented alongside technology-enabled housing and a lower-cost nurse or allied health professional workforce model.”

Full details of the Test Bed sites are as follows:

  • Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA), which will see two New Care Model Vanguard sites partner with Philips and a number of SMEs, social enterprises and voluntary organisations to support the frail elderly, people with dementia, and those with long-term conditions to remain well in the community. They will test new approaches to identifying patients that can benefit from additional support, which will include self-help education and telehealth technologies
  • Care City Health and Care, which will promote healthy ageing across a million-strong population in north east London. Working in partnership with University College London Partners, Health Analytics, Orion Health and nine other innovators, the partnership will test new ways of providing care and support for three population groups: older people with long-term conditions, older people with dementia, and carers
  • End to End Long Term Conditions Management which will see the NHS in the Rochdale area working with Verily Life Sciences, MSD, Health E Research, and Greater Manchester AHSN to support better management of long-term conditions. This will involve equipping clinicians and patients with telehealth, telecare and telemedicine technology, supporting both to best use it and using data to predict when people are likely to get ill so they can be offered more pro-active support
  • PErfect Patient PAthway (PEPPA), which will test how new technologies can enable better self care for patients in the Sheffield City Region with three or more long-term conditions. Working in partnership with GE Finnamore, IBM, Apple and 13 smaller innovators, the local health and care system will set up an integrated intelligence centre to help get people the help they need, when they need it most
  • RAIDPlus Integrated Mental Health Urgent Care , which will see Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust partner with Accenture and Healthways to offer more pro-active support for people at risk of mental health crisis. In addition to using technology to better identify those at risk of crisis, they will improve central co-ordination of the professionals and resources needed to meet their needs.

There will also be two ‘Internet of Things’ Test Beds collaborations. They are:

  • Diabetes Digital Coach, a project led by the West of England AHSN in partnership with Diabetes UK and technology companies including Hewlett Packard. This Test Bed will help people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to 'do the right thing at the right time' to self manage their condition, and access timely support from peers or professionals when they need it by providing the infrastructure for mobile self-management tools
  • Technology Integrated Health Management (TIHM), a collaboration between Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and an array of health technology providers which will support better and faster clinical decision making for people with dementia and carers in their own homes by deploying and linking data for around 30 different kinds of devices, including monitors, apps and robotics

Heather Tierney Moore, chief executive of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said of its involvement: “I am absolutely delighted that the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA) has been chosen as a Test Bed site by NHS England. This will provide the funding and the opportunity to work alongside partners to test out new approaches that support patients to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, while potentially transforming and improving the way that we care for our elderly and those managing long-term conditions.

We believe this type of collaborative approach between industry and health and care providers is an excellent opportunity to improve patient outcomes while at the same time reducing the total cost of care

“The role of the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network in supporting the bid and introducing commercial partners is very much appreciated by the LCIA and it is a real privilege to be working with Philips as our main innovation partner.”

Neil Mesher, managing director of Philips UK&I, added: “Philips is proud to be involved in this pioneering new project. We believe this type of collaborative approach between industry and health and care providers is an excellent opportunity to improve patient outcomes while at the same time reducing the total cost of care. Supporting patients to meet their own individual goals is an objective Philips is delighted to be involved with.”

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