Focusing Digital Health Care

The Financial Case of Focusing Digital Health projects on People

When the Financial Times puts on a conference about digital health, the sector takes notice.

Health and social care sectors are changing at an unprecedented rate. Cuts, difficulties in recruiting leading to problems in capacity, irregular and increasing demand, an ageing demographic, all contribute to a perfect storm that is fuelling change.

Is it about technology, or about the Person?

Technology has historically played a role in enabling change and improvement of services. But in care services tech innovation has failed to deliver impacts at scale. Much of the innovative technology developed for the sector falls into solutions looking for problems. Most care services are supported by legacy IT systems, the type staff need training to use, the type that is not integrated and forces patients to answer the same questions time and time again. There is a lot of noise; starting a “digital health app” seems desirable on the face of it for a lot of entrepreneurs, but they tend to then develop their companies in ways that mimic the role model companies of the tech world, not companies in the care world.

The Financial Times Digital Health summit was very different

This is where this event marked a turning point in the narrative of Digital Health. Instead of a sequence of tech ventures presenting their wares to an audience of early adopter professionals, the event has brought together a fresher narrative, where solutions are designed around care services, and services are transforming themselves to cater for drivers of person centred integration, smoothing pathways to give patients and service users a better experience with better outcomes.

With talks from NHS Digital Transformation, AstraZeneca, MSD, all sessions reinforced that successful digital health interventions leave a lasting heritage of cultural change, service improvement and efficiency gains. They are not just quick fixes brought in by a product, they are not just isolated actions to create integrated care records, they are interventions that enable organisational and cultural change, and this change is increasingly focused on the people receiving care, in a way that is completely focused on the individual.

It’s definitely about the Person

This fills me with hope as an entrepreneur bringing about change in the care sector. Our mission at Nourish is to improve care in a way that is respectful of the constraints (data governance, privacy requirements, cultural aspects of provider organisations), but that gives the tools to managers, owners and commissioners to bring about positive change.

 The only way to bring about sustainable transformation in the care industry

When we deploy our solutions in care homes or care in the community, we are driven to support providers in doing what they do best.

It’s not about the technology we designed and perfected; we only did that as a means to an end – to focus care teams on the care. It’s also the support from informal carers, and to enable people to self-manage, walking away from an exclusive focus on “needs” into an holistic view of the person’s desires and abilities.

By doing this well, we see care providers using Nourish reporting back an increase of 40% in face to face care. This is what drives us in bringing digital transformation to the fore in health and social care. And it’s without surprise that this transformation brings significant financial savings, more reassurance of care provided, better engagement with regulatory bodies and audit teams (NHS, CQC and local authority monitoring teams). This is not the merit of a product; this is the merit of a journey, a journey that is shared with providers, owners, people living with a degree of frailty and their families.

Please do get in touch if you want to know more about how we’ve been supporting care organisations, let’s do this journey together.