In spite of the advancements in medical technologies and a general increase in income levels; healthcare continues to pose challenges of affordability, complexity, and access across the world, according to a recent PwC report.
As we wrote in our healthcare white paper, mobile has the potential to lower costs, quality of care and increase the efficiency of day to day processes to improve patient care. However, due to the nature of the industry, fragmentation of the NHS and other, well documented factors, healthcare providers have huge obstacles to overcome when implementing technology effectively.
It was for that reason that MoMo Bristol’s third event focused on ‘mHealth’ and the surrounding healthcare space.
As mentioned in our other write-ups from previous Disruption and IoT events, the aim of Mobile Monday is to foster brand neutral co-operation, through live networking events and product demos, from both local and global markets.
Last year, government health ministers voiced their support for the use of the latest technologies in the NHS and healthcare community. The event was centred around what needs to happen for mobile healthcare to break through the digital backbone, on a larger scale.
To lead the event, Ben Reed (Mubaloo’s former head of technology), now head of mobile at Careflow Connect was joined by his colleague, David Cleave, senior developer. Careflow Connect Ltd is a Bristol based company, that has created an API based, unified clinical communications platform for integrated care.
Following Ben and David, Jo Harte, Solution Sales Manager at EE, the UK’s largest network, spoke about what EE is doing to enable healthcare. The night ended with a panel discussion with the speakers, joined by Alana Pearson, senior strategic consultant, Mubaloo.
Ben and David kicked off the event focused more on a product perspective on mHealth. Ben and David demonstrated how their healthcare platform is powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
They discussed how, when approaching the platform, there were three key considerations:
- The problem – inefficient communication in healthcare
- The solution – secure, fast, accurate and targeted availability of information
- The benefits – getting the right information to the right person at the right time
The talk delved down to how the platform improves patient safety, prevents unnecessary hospital admissions, reduces length of stay and supports timely discharges. It does all this by providing a real time communication platform that provides the most up to date information regarding the patients under their care via digital handover notes, clinical alerts, team referrals and instant messaging. Enabling decisions to be made faster and with up to date information.
Ben and David’s presentation really inspired people in the room with the evidence of what can be done in the space of mobile health.
“I am now a big fan of the Careflow work, it is really interesting how they are getting things done and how UCD is a major factor in its progress.” – Rich Dunning, Digital & Web Delivery Consultant at AXA Self Investor.
Following this, Jo Harte, Solution Sales Manager at EE discussed ‘Healthcare of the future’, and the opportunities for mHealth and wearables, from the perspective of a mobile network operator.
Jo discussed how mHealth and wearables are becoming a major growth opportunity for providers, end users and operators.
Jo also demonstrated the London’s Air Ambulance Dispatch App, built by Mubaloo as EE’s custom mobile app partner. Having recently won the prize for “App of the Year” at the 2016 Edge Awards and Ultimate App at The Techies, the app is helping to save lives and improve operational processes at the critical emergency charity.
Jo also touched on how wearables are an extension of mobile apps. According to Jo, by 2020 we will see a shift from lifestyle apps to medical apps, improved data analytics and more than one trillion connected devices. Overall, Jo summarised that whilst we have world class healthcare and world leading mobile technology capability, we aren’t using mobile effectively.
On that note, later on in the evening, the panel discussion addressed why the NHS has not yet adopted mobile, especially when there are huge benefits that can be sought. This even came down to the most simple processes that users expect.
Alana Pearson, Senior Strategy Consultant at Mubaloo, who has previous consultancy experience with NHS trusts said:
“Working in mobile, I have realised how important user experience is, in everything. In healthcare, we should start simple, patients want the basics now – to be able to book, amend and cancel appointments, access to their health records and request repeat prescriptions. This comes from the expectations other industries have given us with ‘self serve’. For clinicians, user experience means day long training sessions for new IT should be a thing of the past – mHealth should be intuitive.”
In agreement, Careflow Connect and EE felt that, whilst there are some steps that have been taken within the healthcare industry, there is a lot of reluctance by the NHS to fully embrace mobile. The UK may be a digital leader, but we have a fragmented NHS that has been burnt in the past by failed IT transformation projects.
The NHS is taking some steps towards mobilising healthcare in the UK, such as some trusts using SMS for appointment reminders. It may be a case that for the future, smaller disruptors race ahead of the NHS and make it happen.
All in all, the event highlighted that technology is the game changer. It highlighted examples from across the world of how mobile and digital technology is helping to improve healthcare.
We’d like to thank everyone who came to the mHealth event. There was a great mix of mobile experts and professionals from other industries, including healthcare consultancies, insurance firms and digital agencies who came to learn about the topic. The event ended with a great buzz, a positive atmosphere and brilliant feedback:
“I’m a big fan of Mobile Mondays. It’s a great thing for the digital scene here in Bristol.”
“Last night’s session was solid I thought, with some of the tougher aspects of scaling technology in the NHS coming to the forefront. Personally I am really looking forward to the next one.” – Rich Dunning, Digital & Web Delivery Consultant at AXA Self Investor.
Now in its third month, Mobile Monday is rapidly growing in the Bristol area. Mubaloo is very proud to be one of the founding members of the group.
If you are interested in coming and finding out what it’s all about, next month on the 4th April 2016, the theme is ‘UX Deep Dive’.