How digital innovators are transforming the NHS

Public | April 2018 | The promise of Healthtech: How digital innovators are transforming the NHS 

Innovations such as cloud computing,  VR, 3D printing, genomics and artificial intelligence all provide opportunities for the NHS to sustainably relieve the
demographic and financial pressures it faces. Public, an organisation that helps startups to support the public sector, cautions that “without major reform, the NHS may see a £30 billion funding gap open up over the next three years alone.”

There are three factors driving this change, they are  the growing, ageing populations who are net consumers of public services, especially health care.  The rise in long-term, chronic conditions evident across all age groups.  The compounding effect of higher demand for health services and higher expectations for those health services as, in many cases, more expensive treatments become standard.  The report includes a feature on ‘Healthtech 27’ which are the most promising startups in healthcare.
Nicola Blackwood, the author of this report and former Health Innovation Minister,
argues that the NHS is still ‘risk averse’.  As part of this research, Public surveyed a number of health startups- they also spoke to NHS professionals, interviewing key decision-makers across the health and care landscape-to explore some of the barriers to innovation.

These interviews revealed:

  • Lack of clarity about evidence 
  • Regulation of digital health products is fast evolving
  • Slow procurement
  • Partial interoperability 
  • Unclear data security standards 
  • Limited change management and digital skills


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Alongside this, Healthtech also predicts 9 areas of opportunity for the future

  1. Procurement and productivity 
  2. Recruitment and training 
  3. Prevention
  4. Winter pressures and supported self-care
  5. AI in Pathology and Radiology
  6. Patient safety
  7. Mental health
  8. Social care
  9. Research 

Further details are available from Public’s website 

Public’s blog features a post on this report 

The full report is available here



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