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Edition #5

Dear member,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. They say that technology changes rapidly, well that is nothing compared to the social changes we have seen in recent weeks. This edition of course cannot ignore the COVID-19 crisis going on around us and I have endeavoured to keep abreast of all the activity related to digital health, but it is changing rapidly. Below are a number of articles that best summarise the current situation, although by the time you read this, things will almost certainly have moved on. I urge you to keep an eye on our COVID-19 resource hub where all the latest announcements and communication can be found. If, however, this doesn’t answer any questions you may have, or there is any way we can support you in these challenging times, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Opinion: A Silver Lining Around a Very Dark Cloud

We are currently in the midst of a war; the fight against a global pandemic.

My thoughts go out to all those that have been impacted by COVID-19, and of course, those in the NHS leading the front line fight.

As well as being reinforced by a veritable army of volunteers, the NHS is being supported by technology. The history of war, be that traditional armed conflicts, cold wars, or space wars, has shown that they can generate, in the longer term, a beneficial effect on economic and technological development. A silver lining around a very dark cloud perhaps? 
NHSX has published its vision for the Tech Plan which is open for consultation. The document sets out five priorities for improving IT systems across the NHS. Active engagement on this policy has been suspended due to the coronavirius, however it is still open for reading and comment. This will be discussed at our next Group meeting on 21st April.
NHSX is developing an open, NHS-recognised Digital Health Technology Standard, consolidating existing industry and health standards. They now want to gather feedback from a wider group of organisations who have an interest in digital health, including developers, clinicians, commissioners and patient groups, to ensure it is robust, ambitious and attainable. Consultation closes on Wednesday 22 April 2020. As previously notified, ABHI will be responding to this. A draft, which 
can be found here, has been circulated to members for comment.


Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google have been drafted in to help the NHS ensure its COVID-19 data platform is secure, as have two UK companies; data processing outfit Palantir Technologies, and Faculty, a London-based AI specialist.

Twenty-three trusts will share a £28m pot of technology funding as part of the first wave of “digital aspirant” providers, which will remain in the aspirant programme for three years. 

Healthcare professionals in Wales can now access digital patient information across all health board organisational boundaries, NHS Wales Informatics Services (NWIS) has announced.

Trusts and GPs are being asked to help identify patients at high risk from coronavirus because the NHS’ central data sets are “not sophisticated enough” to track all vulnerable groups, NHS England has said.

NHSX is in the process of developing a contract tracking app to monitor the spread of coronavirus. The app, which would operate on an opt-in basis, would alert people to new cases in their area, as well as allowing people to input their own symptoms.

Online triage tools are to be 'rapidly procured' to manage COVID-19 pressures, with video consultations being used for remote management where possible. Options are being developed nationally to enable the roll-out of video consultation capability to all practices as soon as possible. It follows previous guidance from NHS England, issued on 5 March, advising GP surgeries to go digital-first in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

A group of digital health suppliers have been selected by NHS England to provide digital primary care consultations as part of the health sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eleven suppliers were chosen from the dynamic procurement system framework to rapidly deploy digital products across primary care, so clinicians are able to provide services remotely.

Digital healthcare appointments have surged during the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting the HealthTech industry to predict a "black swan momentfor the adoption of digital across the NHS.

Long before the global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life as we know it, digital health was on the ascent, enabled by innovations in IoT-connected medical devices. However, it is also paving the path for new cyber attack vectors.
News Shorts

Healthcare professionals in Wales can now access digital patient information across all health board organisational boundaries, NHS Wales Informatics Services (NWIS) has announced.

COVID-19 outbreak triggers
wave of apps, online tools for diagnosis and testing. Start-ups and legacy tech vendors alike are developing an array of applications and web services to help people track the virus, check for symptoms and offer advice on ways to help prevent exposure. 

In response to COVID-19, it’s essential to reduce face-to-face contact to protect patients and staff and to minimise the risk of infection. Also, as most people are now staying at home, we need to rapidly support general practice staff to care for people remotely. NHSX, NHS England and NHS Improvement are therefore
accelerating the deployment and implementation of video consultation solutions to support clinicians to consult with patients remotely.
Next Generation of NHS Care. 2nd July 2020. Lowry Hotel, Manchester.

The AI Summit London. 2nd-3rd September 2020. ExCel London.

Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT). 29th-30th September 2020. ExCel London.

The Faculty of Clinical Informatics Annual Scientific Conference and Exhibition. 8th October 2020. De Vere Canary Wharf Conference Centre, London.

DigiHealth UK - Delivering Digital Transformation. 13th October 2020. Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel, London. 

2nd Annual DigiHealth Leaders. 2nd-3rd February 2020. 133 Houndsditch, London.

Digital Healthcare Show. 27th-28th April 2020. ExCel London.
Realising patient and NHS benefits from health and care data – from policy to practice. The Collaboration for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI), the Academy of Medical Sciences and Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) held a joint meeting on 22 January 2020. The report from that meeting summarises many of the themes around data you will be familiar with; patient trust, fragmented data, coordination amongst policy makers and a fit-for-purpose commercial framework
Businesses to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of COVID-19 and similar future situations as a result of £20 million government funding.

New technology challenge to support people who are isolating - £500,000 of funding is available for technology companies who come up with digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 Association of British HealthTech Industries, All rights reserved.

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