Event: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

Event: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

Brought to you by our Innovation theme.

Are you a Health and Social Care professional interested in learning more about digital solutions to support patients to self-manage or a company with a digital self-management solution that would like to pitch your idea? Then look no further and join us on Thursday 21 May.

What you will get

This interactive Webinar will bring together Social Care, Primary Care, Trusts, CCGs and innovators to explore solutions for empowering patients to self-manage their long-term conditions, mental health and wellbeing using digital solutions.

We will begin with a presentation from James Woollard of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust on the potential for self management platforms to support patients. Chris Gumble from NHS South West London CCG will share their experiences with the Diabetes Decathlon project and the collaboration with Sweatcoin, an exercise incentivisation app. Charlotte Lee, the Director of Big Health UK will present lessons learnt whilst rolling out the digital self-care platform Sleepio across the NHS.

Join key stakeholders from NHS providers and commissioners to learn about digital self-management solutions including:

  • education for specific health conditions;
  • peer-led courses;
  • online self-management tools;
  • telephone support and telehealth; and
  • self-monitoring of medication and symptoms using digital technology.

Ten leading companies will each present a short pitch at the event on how their solutions can help patients manage their conditions and play a more active role in their own healthcare decisions.

How to sign up

Health and Social Care professionals, contact Karla Richards, Project Manager for the Innovation Theme to secure your place.

Are you a company that would like to pitch?* Contact Karla Richards, Project Manager for the Innovation Theme for further details on how to be selected.

*please note the deadline for pitch submissions is 6 May.

Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation services; the time has come…

Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation services; the time has come…

Health Innovation Network partnered with the British Heart Foundation and the London Cardiac Rehabilitation Network to create an Innovation Exchange event where clinicans and innovators could discuss how digital solutions can help improve uptake of cardiac rehabilitation services, and the result was overwhelmingly positive, says Anna King.

More and more, I am approached by NHS clinical leaders looking for digital solutions to help them transform their services. Gone are the days when clinicians rejected the idea that patients would use technology. Gone are the days when they believed technology could not improve outcomes. And gone are the days when clinicians worried about their job being taken by a robot. Now instead, clinicians are asking whenthey will get the digital tools they need to improve outcomes, efficiency and patient care. Well, at least this was the fantastic response we had from the London Cardiac Rehabilitation Network members’ recent Innovation Exchange event.

At the event, the challenges that cardiac services are facing were clearly set out by key opinion leaders Sally Hinton (BACPR Executive Director) and Patrick Doherty (Director of the National Audit for Cardiac Rehabilitation), along with patient representative Rob Elvins. The challenges they all raised were uptake and access. But they also highlighted the benefits of improving outcomes and uptake in this area too.

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) sets cardiac rehabilitation out as an intervention that can save lives, improve quality of life and reduce hospital readmissions. It’s also recommended by NICE. However, uptake of cardiac services currently varies widely across England and only 52% of the 121,500 eligible patients per year are taking up offers of cardiac rehabilitation. If we can increase this uptake to 85% by 2028, as set out by the LTP, it will prevent 23,000 premature deaths and 50,000 acute admissions over 10 years. Furthermore, it would make the NHS amongst the best in Europe. This suggests to me there is plenty of scope to improve services to the standard we all aspire to.

Many of the cardiac rehabilitation services present at the Innovation Exchange believed – as I do – that digital solutions are the only way they will manage to significantly increase uptake with current resources. Especially as uptake is lower in women, the young and those for whom it is their only health condition; a group of patients who might find digital or hybrid rehabilitation opportunities very attractive.

Many innovators applied to contribute to the event, which demonstrates the high level of interest and potential in this area. The selected innovators proved that many of these valuable digital solutions are not only already available, but they are comprehensive rehab programmes that are well-evidenced and could bolt onto existing services right now. There were also innovators with systems in other similar areas of care, that were willing to co-develop solutions for cardiac rehab. It was fantastic to see the energy that came from get all the innovators both from services and those with potential solutions together. I am looking forward to seeing how the plans made develop over the coming months.

The Exchange closed with the panel discussing the way ahead for cardiac rehabilitation and the technology they would implement. Patrick Doherty summed discussions up by saying that you could no longer consider that you run a good cardiac rehab service unless you offered digital and home-based options for patients too. I don’t think anyone will have left the event without thinking the time has come for all cardiac rehabilitation services to have digital components, and many more of London’s cardiac rehabilitation services will be taking those important steps towards implementation.

Find out more about the companies who participated in the Innovation Exchange:

The showcasing innovators:

The exhibiting innovators:

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About the author
Anna has been Commercial Director at the Health Innovation Network since July 2013. Prior to her current role Anna was the Commercial Programme Director at the London Commercial Support Unit (Commissioning Support for London, NHS London and NHS Trust Development Authority).

New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

The NHS spends approximately £6 billion a year on medical technology, also known as MedTech, such as medical devices, equipment and digital tools. It is an industry that accounts for over 86,000 jobs in the UK, almost a third of which are within small companies, and supports an additional 24,600 service and supply roles.

A new report from the AHSN Network provides an essential guide for companies looking to successfully develop and roll out innovations in this complex and diverse industry, focused around the MedTech innovation pathway. It includes a foreword by Piers Ricketts, Chief Executive of Eastern AHSN and Vice Chair of the AHSN Network.

The MedTech Landscape Review will be launched formally at an event to be held jointly with one of our partners, the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), on 20 March and introduced by Piers.

In the meantime, the report is available for download here, featuring case studies, statistics and practical advice for navigating each step of the MedTech Innovation pathway.

Top Tips for innovators

Top Tips for Innovators

Got a great innovation that could radicalise the health care system but overwhelmed by the complexity of the NHS? Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation gives her top tips on how to build relationships with NHS and local authority contacts so you can get your innovation successfully implemented.

With Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock’s increased focus on the advancements of digital and technological solutions for the NHS, the market for health innovations is booming. Whilst it is an exciting time for health tech, for innovators themselves it makes for a crowded marketplace. In addition to the competition you face, you are also expected to navigate the complex landscape of the NHS.

Getting your innovation adopted in the NHS sphere can feel like opening a sticky door that requires the hinges to be oiled continuously. At the Health Innovation Network, we are approached by about 3-4 innovators every week looking for advice and support with getting their innovation bought by the NHS. Whilst every innovation requires different proof-points, we have learnt a number of lessons through our experience of improving the take-up of the Innovation and Technology Payment products across South London, and developed some key steps that all innovators can follow to increase their chances of getting their innovation, product or service adopted.

Target the right people

Having an engagement plan to target the right people at the right time, will stop you wasting yours. For example, if the innovation helps with managing referrals more effectively then a General Manager or Operational Director will be your target audience. If your innovation addresses a patient safety issue, then the Medical Director of Director of Nursing will be the decision-maker you need to approach. Work out which part of the system your innovation will save them money and then work out who is in charge of spending for that department.

Tip: if your innovation has the potential to save money for an NHS provider don’t target commissioners. Also, Trusts often have transformation teams who could help with getting your innovation adopted if there is evidence that it will improve patient care.

Tailor your message

In general, all NHS Trusts or Clinical Commissioning Groups will have the same system pressures as everyone else. These could be A&E waiting times, or the increasing demand caused by more patients having more complex conditions. However, individual decision-makers will have different priorities that concern them on a daily basis. To make sure your message is getting heard you should tailor it to the specific pressures or problems that your innovation could help them with.  For example, the Director of Nursing will probably be concerned with their nursing vacancies and agency costs, or patient safety while the Director of Finance and Performance’s priority is more likely to be addressing long waiting lists, or meeting their savings target.

Tip: trust board reports and Clinical Commissioning Group board reports are all published via their website; by scanning these board papers you can identify their specific issues and make it clear that your innovation solves their problems.

Get clinician approval first

Don’t even think about approaching any director or commissioner if you don’t have sufficient clinician buy-in. After all, they are the people who will be using your innovation on day-to-day and will need to be convinced of its value if you want it to get implemented properly. Approach the clinical teams to highlight the clinical and patient benefits of your innovation, and test their interest, before trying to get it bought for their hospital.

Tip: you are more likely to have an impact with this audience if you show that you’ve done some research. Do the testing, build up an evidence-base and then make your approach.

Learn about procurement

Don’t underestimate the potential for procurement processes to slow down or even stall getting your innovation into the NHS. Procurement is often a lengthy process in trusts, (for very good reason given it is taxpayer money that is being spent) the complexities of which need to be understood and respected.

Tip: engage with procurement teams to understand the process for buying your innovation, so you can don’t delay getting the sign-off for your innovation being adopted.

Refine your pitch

Contrary to popular belief, products generally aren’t so good they sell themselves. I hear 2-3 pitches a week from individuals with a health innovation and the majority of them fall down at the same hurdles. Firstly, don’t start your pitch with the generalist tabloid problems with the NHS. An NHS manager hearing for the third time that week that the NHS has no money and national targets are consistently not being met they will disengage. Instead, touch upon the challenge that your innovation will solve and then give detail on how your innovation is the solution. And the devil is in the detail. All too often pitches include vague statements about an innovation rather than actual detail. The best pitches are those that give overview of the innovation, clinical evidence, quantify return on investment and give an example of past or current implementation within the NHS. Spell out the real benefits using robust data and evidence, but don’t promise you can solve all their problems if you don’t have the proof.

Tip: return on investment is extremely important to highlight early on in your pitch. For example, one company recently included the fact that a different maternity unit had commissioned their online platform because it would save them money on public liability insurance. This type of evidence is impressive, clear and makes it easy to forecast the exact numbers by which your product will make them clear savings. This will always grab people’s attention.

Show how your innovation works

This sounds simple – and it is. People don’t just want to hear about how a product works, they want to see it and even try it out where possible. If it’s a medical device, make sure you bring it with you. Or if it’s a digital solution, do a short demo to help people to visualise your innovation.

Tip: have a quick pitch on your product ready and ensure that it clearly explains how your product works. Practise a 60 second pitch for meeting potential customers on an ad-hoc basis at networking events.

Be persistent, but polite

It’s unlikely that the first email you send will result in a bulk order of your product. It’s probably unlikely it will even result in a meeting. But that doesn’t mean you should stop knocking on doors. ‘No replies’ are not the same as rejection. And rejection can sometimes be ‘not now’ rather than a straight ‘no’. If you believe your product can transform the health care system for the better, then there’s a good chance you can convince someone else of that too.

Tip: don’t assume the worst in people when they don’t respond. Your target audience are busy and overwhelmed by pitches. Maintaining your professionalism and manners at all times will always go further to getting an answer than aggressive chasing.

As I said, getting your innovation adopted in the NHS can feel like opening a sticky door that requires the hinges to be oiled continuously. If you take a hammer to it, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to repair the damage caused to relationships in the future.

Lesley Soden is the Head of Innovation within the Health Innovation Network. She has over 20 years experience in the NHS and public sector. She has worked in senior business and strategy roles in mental health and community NHS Trusts involving programme management, business development, bid writing and service re-design, all delivered in collaborations with a variety of public and private health partners.

For more information on how we work with innovators, visit our Innovation Exchange page or read about our funding opportunities here.

People encouraged to ‘Go digital’ in new NHS short films

People encouraged to ‘Go digital’ in new NHS short films

A series of nine new films about digital health innovations in the NHS have been launched today, as part of #NHS70DigitalWeek.

Produced by the AHSN Network and NHS England, the films show some of the latest ways the NHS is using digital technology to empower people to take control of their health and care. They feature a range of apps and technologies that are starting to be used in parts of the NHS to help people manage conditions in more flexible ways using digital tools and services.

The NHS is harnessing the power of information and technology to empower people to take control of their own health. Waitless is a app – which combines waiting times at urgent care centres with up-to-the-minute travel information – enables patients to decide where to go to access faster treatment for minor injuries:

MIRA is a digital application that turns practical physiotherapy exercises into videogames to introduce an element of fun into rehab and recovery. It proved to be very popular among the film’s elderly participants, bringing out some healthy competition. Watch this film to learn more:

An innovative way to help women manage hypertension during pregnancy, the HaMpton app enables women like Asha and Clare to monitor their health at home. Watch this film to find out more.

This video shows how the Sleepio app records and recommends ways to improve sleep. Now it’s less counting of sheep – and more good nights of sleep – for people like Audrey and Claire:


Changing Health – a self-management app for type 2 diabetes – is empowering people like Sheinaz to better manage their condition. Watch the video to find out more:

Watch the initial launch film here:


Part of the wider work to celebrate and recognise the NHS’s 70th birthday, the videos aim to prompt people to see the NHS as a digital, as well as face-to-face service. Both the videos and the broader #NHS70DigitalWeek campaign encourage people to visit www.nhs.uk to find out more about how they can engage digitally with their health.

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network and AHSN Network lead for digital health said:

“Digital innovation has become an essential part of our everyday life.Whether it is accessing the world’s song catalogue, making immediate connections with friends and family or using maps on our phones to find locations, digital tools have becomepart of thefabric of our lives and society.

“These films show that at 70 years old, the NHS is using digital health more and more, and the benefits are huge. As the innovation arm of the NHS, Academic Health Science Networks are supporting the NHS up and down the country to spread the kind of proven digital innovation that empowers people and frees up clinical time. The reality is that healthcare can be in your pocket.”

The seven examples of digital health that are featured in the series via case studies of people who have used the technology are:

  • Changing Health: digital education and coaching platform for people with type 2 diabetes
  • Sleepio: sleep improvement programme using cognitive behavioural therapy
  • My House of Memories: assisting people living with dementia and memory loss
  • MIRA: turning physiotherapy into videogames to improve adherence and make rehab fun
  • EpsMon: improving epilepsy self-management
  • HaMpton: helping pregnant women to manage high blood pressure at home
  • Waitless: aimed at helping patients to find the shortestwaiting times for A&E and urgent care

The films will be launched over a series of weeks, between 24 July and early September and will be added to this page as they become available.

Sheinaz, who uses the ‘Changing Health’programme, talks in the film about the benefits of a digital approach:

“Going to a (support) group wasn’t going to be sustainable for me, the other option was the health app. Having the app helps me maintain consciousness of the condition I have and that I have responsibility for my own health.”

Another person who took part in the filming was Audrey, who used to suffer from sleep deprivation and used the Sleepio app. She said:

“It’s amazing, it’s the sort of thing you can do when you are commuting.” After having previously been without sleep for several weeks at a time, she reports she now hasn’t had a bad night’s sleep in over a year using this product that is strongly evidenced to combat sleep deprivation.

AHSNs have highlighted digital health innovation as a priority area for the NHS in coming years, particularly in the area of long-term condition management, where there are major opportunities for supporting people in self-management and NHS currently spends 70 per cent of its budget.

Digital therapeutics work best when there is a partnership between the patient, their GP and where necessary a team of specialist clinicians or coaches supervising results, coaching and encouraging. The results achieved by the best-evidenced products are powerful – weight loss, fewer crises, lower blood glucose, increased activity, better adherence to medicine, improved self-care, better sleep and mood, fewer admissions to hospital and savings in the longer term to the NHS thanks to fewer complications. The AHSNs work to identify and help spread these innovations, supporting innovators from both the NHS and industry, as well as staff within the NHS with uptake, to maximise the opportunities for the benefit of patients.