Talking with digital innovators

NHSX is committed to working with SMEs and start-ups to improve the contribution of technology to healthcare.

Lisa Hollins talks about hosting the fourth in our series of events for digital innovators last week. We held it virtually which enabled over 280 organisations to join us. Our next innovators' event is on 10 September from 4pm, and will include an interactive networking session. You can book your place here.  

SMEs and digital developers have been successful in extending the range and breadth of care offered to patients, and in greater efficiencies to how care is delivered. Last week’s event was intended as a thank you to organisations for their contributions during the pandemic, and to highlight the areas that NHSX, along with partner organisations, will be concentrating on moving forward.

We recorded the event and you can watch the presentations by Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer; Indra Joshi, Director for AI; Matthew Gould, CEO, NHSX; and James Freed, CIO at Health Education England.

Watch the NHSX Innovators' Event, July 2020

At the event we heard from Tara Donnelly, who summarised technology expansion and changes in response to coronavirus, including virtual consultations and remote care for patients through digital platforms; extending connectivity to social care providers; designing remote monitoring COVID-19 pathways for patients in primary care and after discharge; and ensuring patients have access to testing and fit notes.

James Freed talked about the digital ready workforce programme to support NHS staff to adopt technology and take advantage of the benefits it can bring to them and their patients. James discussed the Digital Board Programme which prepares boards for the growing opportunities and challenges of building their digital strategy and embedding technology within workplaces. He said: "Healthcare leaders are increasingly asked to ensure pathways can operate outside of organisational boundaries, and boards have a key role to play in ensuring organisations are able to support digital pathways across integrated care systems and networks."

Nina Wilson discussed work to create a health technology standard, that included an eight-week consultation earlier this year. The results are now being collated to develop the next iteration of the standard document. You can read more about this on our website.

And Indra Joshi described the work of the AI lab in supporting the regulation of AI and the AI fund. She also discussed the launch of the national COVID-19 chest imaging database (NCCID), a centralised UK database containing x-ray, CT and MRI images from hospital patients across the country.  The database will support a better understanding of the virus and develop technology to enable the best care for patients.

Finally, Mathew Gould emphasized the importance of the cultural changes that have been achieved within the pandemic, and he stressed the importance to continue the pace and momentum of adoption within health and social care. Matthew outlined the impact of COVID-19 on the social care sector, and said that the NHSX programme, Joining Up Care, will be a focus for these sectors.

We had lively questions ranging from how could charities can get involved in the digital readiness programme, the status of the NHS login service (it's very much progressing and we can include this as a topic at our next session), through to how will NHSX ensure that big electronic patient records (EPRs) companies work with innovators? We're collating responses to the questions which we couldn't answer due to time, and will share with participants shortly. 

It's really important that we address your needs, as SME and start-up colleagues, so we hope you'll tell us what themes and topics you'd like covered at our next event on 10 September. Do get in touch and let us know at DNHSX@nhsx.nhs.uk.