Editorial

NHS welcomes slew of new health IT apps to innovation programme

Brings up to 25 the number of potentially cost- and life-saving technologies and new ways of working that are helping the national health service now

Posted 14 November 2016 by

NHS EnglandNHS England says more advanced health IT will become available to patients, thanks to further support for its NHS Innovation Accelerator – a scheme designed to help with the adoption of promising new treatments and technologies.

Eight such systems have been added to the roster today, with all claimed to be evidence-based, cost-saving and focused on “providing solutions to key challenges facing the NHS, including better prevention of ill health, improved management of long term conditions and early intervention into diseases”, according to NHS England.

This includes an epilepsy self-management tool that lets patients monitor their well-being and know when to seek medical support – a behaviour change which could lead to a reduction in the number of deaths of people with epilepsy – as well as a special walk-in community pharmacy service where patients are tested to determine whether or not they need antibiotics, which could reduce pressure on the 1.2 million GP appointments currently used by anyone with sore throat symptoms.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and health care worldwide is now fizzing with smart innovation,” said NHS England’s Chief Executive, Simon Stevens.

“In the NHS , we’re now taking practical action to develop and fast track these new techniques into mainstream patient care.”

Commenting on the move, for Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director,The innovations selected have the potential to deliver better value for the taxpayer whilst making patient interactions with the NHS safer and more personal.”

The NHS Innovation Accelerator is a programme, now entering its second year, led by NHS England and which Keogh himself set up.

It’s delivered in partnership with 15 Academic Health Science Networks, including UCLPartners, the commercial arm of that University, which  facilitates and supports health innovators getting their ideas out to the health service for practitioners and patients alike to use.

In its first year, 17 innovations were so first identified then rolled out across over 380 NHS organisations – a move NHS England claimed today is “benefiting millions of NHS patients”.