The future of healthtech is wide-ranging in its potential to transform health and social care. However, obstacles remain in place.
In the reading of the Health and Care White Paper, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said that we must look to “embrace the full potential of data and technology.”
In techUK’s Ten Point Plan for Healthtech1 published in February, hundreds of technology companies contributed to a series of recommendations on how the health and care sector could realise the full power of digital and data to join up care.
Shifting to digital health services
One company working to help create integrated care pathways is health IT technology solutions company, Allscripts. Richard Strong, Vice President and Managing Director, often emphasises: “We need everyone pulling in the same direction, to ensure that data can be accessed by the right people, as and when they need it. We know that when patients are treated as an active participant in their care and are given the right tools, they are more likely to engage.”
As well as empowering patients, such technology greatly increases the efficiency and speed of services, often helping the NHS make considerable cost savings.
The emphasis on citizen-facing innovation is notable across the sector. Andrew Meiner, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer of Silverlink Software, a patient administration systems provider, says: “[We are] focusing our attentions to the way we work with healthcare organisations to deliver services that are tailored to the individual, ensuring that citizens have more opportunity to take ownership of their care.” As well as empowering patients, such technology greatly increases the efficiency and speed of services, often helping the NHS make considerable cost savings.
The shift in the use of digital health products and services can be seen across the board. Recent research conducted by health app evaluation and distribution organisation ORCHA2 found that digital health was not only suited to younger populations, with 52% of those aged 65 years and older supporting a move to digital health.
Collaboration between industry and Government will enable our nation to benefit from a digitally empowered future, in which patients can take ownership of their own wellbeing and health and social care workers can embrace everything healthtech has to offer.