Jan 192017
 

Globe (1)

Untitled drawing

1) Executive Summary

An NHS open digital platform challenge fund will stimulate the development of an open platform in the NHS. Open digital platforms are independently forecast by McKinsey and Co to reduce the delivery of care costs across the NHS by 11%. They will support widescale entry and growth of suppliers into the market, injecting innovation at all levels of service delivery to support improved care outcomes for our patients.

In the context of an NHS struggling through a perpetual winter, open digital platforms present a realisable opportunity to massively stimulate new ways of working, process innovation and a new digital health and care market, based around services. This is independently forecast by McKinsey and Co who predict a positive financial impact in excess of 11% across the whole of health and social care.

By creating an open digital platform and a move towards a services market, the NHS opens up the market to innovative commercial and social enterprises who presently have great difficulty breaching the significant barriers to entry. At the same time it creates an environment where health and care professionals can readily create, contribute and share new digital tools to support transformational new models of care, radically improving the care outcomes of our patients and building a sustainable care ecosystem that is fit for the future.

There is little disagreement that platforms represent the future for digital health. Rather the present debate is about who should own them, and how and when they will emerge. The “status quo” retains the closed platform frameworks, introducing open interfaces for exchange of information. This provides a short term stimulus, supporting improvements in patient care and operational efficiencies. However in the longer term, by seeking to control the rules of engagement and restricting the mobility of data, the retention of closed platform frameworks will stifle competition, impede innovation, and continue to drive-up costs.

Open digital platforms are a radical alternative that overcome the serious shortcomings of closed platforms.
They present the most assured approach to achieve consistent, long term and affordable growth in innovation-led service transformation across the complexities of health and social care. They will enable the full competitive aspects of market supply to be exploited, with associated benefits of the injection of innovations on a massive scale. For this reason, open digital platforms are manifestly in the interest of both the NHS and its patients.

The purpose of the proposed Open Digital Platform Challenge Fund is to stimulate the development of an open platform ecosystem through kick-starting the creation of open platforms, building on work already well underway, and the development of exemplar applications to exploit them.

We propose that the fund is created through diverting 1% of the investment each year in NHS digitisation into the challenge fund. This fund would be made available via an annual open competition in the form of relatively small awards to innovative organisations (public, private and third sector). The selection of projects will be balanced to stimulate and develop an open ecosystem of shareable and reusable applications to service across health and social care. We are inviting submissions of expressions of interest into this Open Platform Fund. In so doing, we will gauge the wider interest in this Open Platform fund proposal to then quickly bring these related responses to the attention of both NHS Digital and NHS England by the end of February 2017 and seek the related funding.

2) Current Situation

To introduce this bid for funding we need to review the current situation with important context on the bigger picture issues that are at play. We need to acknowledge and understand the current mediocre state of health IT, as an immature and problematic market with mixed/relatively poor value for money and results seen from billions of £ and $ of investment from the UK to the US and elsewhere.

We also need to recognise the related digitisation of the NHS has been over promised and under delivered for some considerable time. Compounding this people/process/technology problem is the ongoing and perpetual winter faced by the frontline in the NHS that is in the news.

We restate the need to continue the critical push towards more personalised, integrated care at home and in the community to meet the 2020 vision. This clearly requires an underpinning patient centred infrastructure to do so. Last February Jeremy Hunt announced £4.2 billion for NHS Health IT. In the last 18-24 months while there have been plans in the form of Integration Pioneers, Vanguards, Local Digital Roadmaps (LDRs), Sustainability Transformation Plans (STPs), there has been little/no allocated funding to date to make these happen.

In Autumn 2016 we were able to read and digest the latest review of the NHS IT, authored by US physician Dr Bob Wachter. Dr Wachter built his reputation as establishing the hospitalist as a medical specialty in the US. In recent years he has become a fearless and honest critic of the state of Healthcare IT in the US, with his book “Digital Doctor : Hope, Hype & Harm at the Dawn of Medicines Computer Age” (2015) exposing the real mediocre state of the health IT market in the US. The book and related opinion pieces on the state of health IT industry he explains some of the real problems with the current supplier market is clear. In a New York Times Op Ed piece on “Why Health Care Tech Is Still So Bad” (2015) he highlights that

“In today’s digital era, a modern hospital deemed the absence of an electronic medical record system to be a premier selling point...That hospital is not alone. A 2013 RAND survey of physicians found mixed reactions to electronic health record systems, including widespread dissatisfaction. Many respondents cited poor usability, time-consuming data entry, needless alerts and poor work flows”.

However in the NHS, Dr Wachter’s recent review led to funding being provided to “digital exemplars” all of which are a small group of hospital trusts in the NHS who will invest in those very same health IT monoliths. While understandable as a means to “do something”, rather than nothing, given the state of affairs is understood, it is sadly limited in its thinking and perpetuates the usual tactics that we have seen in the NHS IT for years, i.e. investing in the same 20th Century monoliths of old. We know that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is futile.

Simply put, if a small elite are getting the focus of funding for investments in 20th Century health IT monoliths over the next years then inequity within the system will increase, while original ideas in the sector to bring care into the modern era will decrease.

We have been left asking where has the requirement for integrated person centred care gone, that is ingrained in the other plans that NHS and local authorities have been working towards with STPs and LDRs etc.

What is sorely missing is the open patient centric platform that Dr Wachter looks forward to and that healthcare awaits. As this is a glaring omission, our paper recommends a focussed investment towards that end as part of a bimodal strategy for NHS IT at this challenging time.

3) What can be done

The changes required are radical, if we are to simply survive, yet alone thrive in the years ahead. We know we need a mix of people + process + technology changes. We know too that the leaders of the NHS understand and value the role of innovation and the crucial role of information technology in achieving same.

3.1) The role of an open platform

For some time now leading thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic, in the NHS and indeed the US has been calling for a move towards a more open platform approach. From within the US market, the establishment of Healthcare Services Platform Consortium aims to address the mediocrity of the “big 6” monoliths and the concurrent problem of the thousands of small unrelated vendors.

“EHRs are becoming commodity platforms. The winner will be the EHR vendor that provides the best platform for innovation – the most open and most extensible platform.”

In this we wholeheartedly agree and concur with our US colleagues.

We believe there is now a compelling case for a small but useful investment in Health IT from the bottom up, to the princely sum of 1% of the planned £4 Billion NHS IT expenditure, aimed deliberately at the integrated, patient centred care vision of Personalised Care 2020, based on the principle that all projects should aim to leverage elements of a common open platform.

4) 1% Case for an open platform

We are making a case for an investment of just 1% of available NHS IT funds to offer a way forward to improve the care of 99% of the population. To do so we have highlighted Dr Watchers analysis and writings to focus on the key problems and issues we seek to address;

Usability

“This principle of user-centered design is part of aviation’s DNA, yet has been woefully lacking in health care software design.

Interoperability

“[There are] Political obstacles to overcome, put in place mostly by vendors and healthcare systems that remain reluctant to share.”

Vision for patient centred care

“In essence, there will no longer be an EHR in the traditional sense, an institution-centric record whose patient portal is a small tip of the hat to patient-centeredness. Rather, there will be one digital patient-centered health record that combines clinician-generated notes and data with patient-generated information and preferences. Its locus of control will be, unambiguously, with the patient.”

So in order to address these real issues and support the national ambitions - usability, interoperability and patient centred care we will use the investment fund available to benefit the broader public. We wish to draw attention to that part of the population who could be better served by the NHS with an improved patient centric platform today. We are also mindful of the need to support;

  • Prevention, Self care and management
  • GP patients
  • Community Care Patients
  • Mental Health Patients
  • Social Care

We look to the leadership provided by the Gov UK Digital Service standard to highlight the principles to underpin the approach we commend.

Pursue User Centred Design & Agile Development

Leverage Open Source & Open Standards

In our work to date (on the Ripple programme and Code4Health platform based on openEHR) we have deliberately pursued these principles to useful effect and recommend them to others who wish to transform healthcare with information technology. We welcome wider scrutiny of our open platform work to date. Our work and the leading work of others (such as the Endeavour Foundation and the INTEROPen CareConnect API Collaborative) in this field, leads us to believe there is now a real, significant appetite for wider and deeper moves towards an open digital platform in the NHS.

By creating an open digital platform ecosystem, the NHS opens up the market to innovative commercial and social enterprises who presently have great difficulty breaching the significant barriers to entry. At the same time it creates an environment where health and care professionals can readily create, contribute and share new digital tools to support innovative new models of care.

We firmly believe that a small but focussed 1% investment can deliver against some of the key challenges in Personalised Health and Care 2020 on an open service oriented platform- to stimulate the public & private sector. An open healthcare platform fit for the 21st Century.

 

5) What is an Open Platform?

Platform based architectures power the internet, with the platform providing the plumbing (the infrastructure, data and services) that applications need, freeing the application developer to focus their efforts on their application without the need to build the infrastructure it needs to operate. Platform approaches speed development, make applications more robust and interoperable and open up a new services market in healthcare IT, where suppliers compete on services and the value they add rather than on the proprietary nature of their software.

An Open Platform is based on freely available open standards, so that anyone can play. As no one party can control the platform - they must collaborate - just like the Internet.

An Open Platform has the following characteristics:

  • Open Standards Based - The implementation should be based on wholly open standards. Any willing party should be able to use these standards without charge to build an independent, compliant instance of the complete platform;
  • Share Common Information Models - There should be a set of common information models in use by all instances of the open platform, independent of any given technical implementation;
  • Support Application Portability - Applications written to run on one platform implementation should be able to run with either trivial or no change on another, independently developed;
  • Federatable - It should be possible to connect any implementation of the open platform to all others independently developed, in a federated structure to allow the sharing of appropriate information and workflows between them;
  • Vendor and Technology Neutral - The standards should not depend on particular technologies or require components from particular vendors. Anyone building an implementation of the open platform may elect to use any available technology and may choose to include or exclude proprietary components;
  • Support Open Data - Data should be exposed as needed (subject to good information governance practice) in an open, shareable, computable format in near to real-time. Implementors may choose to use this format natively in their persistence (storage) layer of the open platform itself or meet this requirement by using mappings and transformations from some other open or proprietary format;
  • Provision of Open APIs - The full specification of the APIs (the means by which applications connected to the platform a should be freely available.

The key to an open platform is the definition of a set of standard interfaces (APIs) to the range of services that might be provided on a platform defined by an open process that all interested parties can participate in (like Internet standards) and that are freely available for all to use.

While it may be encouraged, not all elements in an open platform need to be open sourced. We believe that “infrastructural” components that are generic, reusable and utility like (e.g see Appendix 1 below) should be open sourced, while the overlying applications do not necessarily need to be open sourced, as long as they leverage open data models and offer open APIs.

6) Why an open digital platform?

We have seen across all sectors how platforms are changing the way people lead their everyday lives, from how we communicate and interact, how we travel and where we stay, how we manage our finances to how we shop, to name but a few. Platforms transform. An open digital platform supports:

  • Unconstrained innovation – ideas and ambitions can be shared by people across the office, street or globe
  • Collaboration - clinicians and care professionals inherently want want to share their good work with the rest of the medical world.
  • Alignment to medical science progression, been based on the spread of ideas - health IT can do the same.
  • “Publish or perish” culture of modern medicine demands that healthcare advances are laid open for scrutiny by our peers
  • Grassroots progress - Complex adaptive systems require decentralized control so people can locally innovate. Amendments and improvement can come from the grassroots and bottom up, without the bureaucracy that innovators often face.
  • A shift in the market towards a healthy, commercially sustainable, services oriented marketplace.

7) Open Platform Fund mechanism

The main aim of this Open Platform bid is;

Support the development of services towards Personalised Care 2020 -

support the development of an NHS ecosystem around an open digital platform

To be clear, while we do not currently have any secured funding for an open platform fund, our aim is to gauge interest in this approach and make the evidence based case to NHS Digital.

The fund is intended to support innovative projects that stimulate the creation of an open digital ecosystem and as such aims to support a large number of small projects that are unlikely to be supported as part of “business as usual” investment by health and care organisations. The aims are to driving innovation and transformation that is scalable, shared, flexible and adaptable and ultimately improve health IT for clinicians and improve care outcomes for patients. Winners will show that they will concentrate their efforts on usability, interoperability, patient centred care that meet the vision. To do so we suggest;

7.1) Request for Expressions of Interest

We initially invite the submission of expressions of interest into this Open Platform Fund. In so doing, we wish to gauge the wider interest in this Open Platform fund proposal to then quickly bring these related responses to the attention of both NHS Digital and NHS England by the end of February 2017 and seek the related funding .

Please submit a brief expression of interest (1-3 page) via this Google forms link; https://goo.gl/forms/4SaNvAgkAe2AfLZ82 by Friday 10th February 2017.


We will acknowledge expressions of interest, collate and feedback the results of our findings, pass on related submissions and summary findings to the Apperta Foundation CIC which we believe is ideally placed to independently oversee this process and support the case for funding from NHS Digital and NHS England. The Apperta Foundation is a not-for-profit community interest company supported by NHS England and NHS Digital led by clinicians to promote open systems and standards for digital health and social care.

While the focus of this paper relates to the NHS in England, we know that colleagues in the health systems of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and indeed the Republic of Ireland are facing the same challenges at the frontline, while aware of the same opportunity on offer from an open platform from a 1% investment, particularly if done openly and collaboratively. Therefore we invite related submissions towards an open platform fund on an All Islands basis - which we also will pass onto the Apperta Foundation and the UK and Ireland CCIO Networks.

7.2) Outline of Proposed Allocation

A) Infrastructural component projects

45% of £40m = £18m over 3 years (until 2020)
Open source tooling & infrastructure components - underpinning standards and compliant components that provides services useful in an open ecosystem (See Appendix 1 examples)

B) Personalised Care: Innovation Incubation and Exemplar Implementations

50% of £40m = £20m over 3 years (until 2020)

Open APIs & open data models based projects as showcases of an open platform in action. (e.g. may include open APIs (e.g. INTEROPen CareConnect FHIR based APIs) + open data models +/- open source data repository (e.g. openEHR based). Examples may include Person Held Records/Electronic Patient Record/Integrated Digital Care Record etc. related projects.

C) Oversight/Custodian of process by an independent CIC such as the Apperta Foundation

Along with the CCIO Network and INTEROPen Collaborative to oversee clinical merit and technical connectathons.

5% of £40m = £2m over 3 years (until 2020)

7.3) Eligibility

We suggest that this open platform fund is open to:

  • UK Registered for-profit commercial entities (Companies and LLPs) and
  • UK Registered not-for-profit entities (CICs,Trusts,Companies limited by guarantee and other recognised forms) meeting UK definition of an SME (In the UK a company is defined as being an SME if it meets two out of three criteria: it has a turnover of less than £25m, it has fewer than 250 employees, it has gross assets of less than £12.5m)
  • UK Public Sector bodies (NHS Bodies, Government agencies and local authorities etc.) irrespective of size.

7.4) Match funding obligations

We suggest that applicants will be required to match fund any award from the fund as follows

  • Social or commercial micro-enterprises 1
    -
    No match funding obligation
  • Social or commercial SMEs 2
    -
    Match funding equal to 50% of the award
  • Public sector bodies - Match funding equal to 100% of the award

 

1 A business with less than 10 employees and (a turnover < £2 million euro or a balance sheet total of less than £2 million euro)
2 A business with less than 250 employees and (a turnover < £50 million euro or a balance sheet total of less than £43 million euro)
These are the current official definitions applying in the UK

8) Criteria

We suggest that an Open Platform fund is open to projects that stimulate and support both the creation and adoption of an open digital ecosystem which meet the definition in section 5 of What is an Open Platform.

While the main aim of all projects will be to improve NHS services towards personalised health and care 2020, the criteria by which the funding from this fund will be allocated will depend on the concurrent creation of value add in the form of;

  • Collaborative - all projects must establish open channels of communication and means of engagement with other parties in the bid at the time of their application (e.g. INTEROPen Ryver etc).
  • Transparent - all projects must be willing and evidence how they will partake in regular clinical and technical reviews. We suggest these should be in the form of bi-annual CCIO Network led review along with INTEROPen led Connectathons with a minimum of 3 out of 6 Connectathons undertaken.
  • Share Ideas, Knowledge, Experience - i.e. willing and able to openly collaborate with others in this initiative (e.g via online community building via tools such as the Open Health Hub, Ryver etc) and partake in Open Data connectathon against INTEROPen FHIR APIs

9) Judging process

Initial Bid and Review Point Principles

We suggest the related submissions into this fund will need to evidence the following as part of their bids and progress at agreed review points:

  • Clinical merit - against the Personalised Health and Care 2020 Vision
  • Technical merit - against the open platform principles outlined
  • Clinical gap / need / demand
  • Clinical Leadership - all projects need nominated clinical lead
  • User Centred Design - include/demonstrate a commitment to open publish UX design
  • Alignment with Agile Development methodologies
  • Business readiness (preparatory work, governance etc in place)
  • Collaboration with other parties in the open platform bid
  • Open Source track record

10) Conclusion

If public monies are for one purpose, they should be for the common good. Our proposal aims to ensure the efficient and effective allocation of public monies to projects that can impact the health and care of millions of citizens in England, supporting local NHS & Social Care organisations in their hour of need, while leveraging Britain's long held reputation for industry and innovation to enable a new global open platform fit for the 21st Century.

Our proposal for an open platform technology fund aims to offer a means towards the integrated care vision of Personalised Care 2020 that is in the best interests of the NHS. In aligning patient, clinical and care needs with the investment potential offered by open platforms in healthcare, we believe there is a clear win-win on offer here.

At times of challenge and change the natural instinct may be to withdraw from risk or novel action, yet all our instinct is telling us that now is very time to embrace this challenge and seek the opportunity - which is why we are taking a public lead in getting this Open Digital Platform for Healthcare into action and welcome your interest and support in this effort.

Dr Tony Shannon, Ewan Davis
14th January 2017

Questions or Comments?
Email us at 1percentfund@ripple.foundation or tweet @rippleosi with #1percentfund

11) Declarations of Interest

Both of the authors are unashamedly proponents of an open platform in healthcare for some time. One might argue that this constituents a conflict of interest with the proposed approach. Rather we would suggest that our track record in leading the effort to disrupt the market towards an open platform, equates to a confluence of interest with the approach now required.

Dr Tony Shannon, Director - Ripple Foundation C.I.C
Director - Frectal Ltd

Ewan Davis, Director - Synapta C.I.C
Director - Handi Health C.I.C
Director - Open Health Hub C.I.C
Director - Operon Ltd
Director - Woodcote Consulting Ltd

12) Related Links

Ripple Foundation Community Interest Company http://rippleosi.org/
HANDI Health Community Interest Company http://handihealth.org/
Synapta Community Interest Company http://synapta.org.uk/
Endeavour Health Charitable Trust http://www.endeavourhealth.org/
Apperta Foundation Community Interest Company http://www.apperta.org/
INTEROPen Collaborative http://www.interopen.org/
openEHR Foundation http://openehr.org/
HL7 FHIR https://www.hl7.org/fhir

Appendix 1 - Open Platform Infrastructural Component Candidates

The aim here is to initially outline examples/suggestions of a “top 10” set of federated service components in a Service Oriented Architectural world that would be useful to in healthcare. In doing so we welcome further suggestions and related expressions of interest that would aim to provide open source solutions to plug gaps / provide enhancements towards the open digital platform movement. The fund may support the open sourcing of existing components or their development.

Identification & Authorisation
Master Patient Index
User Interface framework
Integration technologies
Clinical Data Repository
Terminology services
Workflow services
Rules engine
Scheduling
Business intelligence
Clinical content collaboration/authoring tools (i.e. openEHR/FHIR etc)

Applications for these open source infrastructure projects are encouraged to state their preferred OS license (weighting towards non copyleft (Apache 2/MIT/BSD) or AGPL licensing)

 



 

 Posted by on January 19, 2017 at 12:43
Nov 272014
 

Your action IS required.

Passing on the request from Dr Marcus Baw

I've mentioned this on the list before, but there is an area on StackExchange where suggestions are accepted for new areas. A Healthcare IT section has been suggested but the first time it did not get enough votes to become an official Beta.

This time, we have a limited opportunity to get it voted up enough it will be created.

This is a potentially helpful resource for discussing the technical aspects of healthcare IT and I think would overall benefit the NHSHD community. Could I therefore ask you ALL to take the 30 seconds to go to this site, login or create an account, and vote for the Healthcare IT Forum.

Of course, if you already know everything there is to know about Apple HealthKit, FHIR, HL7, SNOMED-CT, Read Codes, CTV3, openEHR, IHE, CE marking of medical devices, medical UX, etc, then you personally have no need of it - although I'd still like you to vote because we'd need a place to ask you questions 😉

Apr 222014
 

Run by Plymouth University and funded by the Intellectual Property Office, the Health App Challenge is running two user-led app challenges: one for diabetes in collaboration with Diabetes UK and the other for weight loss surgery in collaboration with WLSInfo (a smaller charity), with support from HANDI.

 

The Health App Challenge (HAC) offers patients with diabetes or post weight loss surgery the opportunity to join us in reviewing or creating an app (i.e. mobile application or website) to help manage the conditions and improve healthcare outcomes with technology innovations: for patients and by patients.

 

We plan to follow on from the success of the Diabetes App Challenge of 2012, a two-part challenge where young people with diabetes and teammates created innovative apps to help with preparing for clinic appointments, then offered to other young people with diabetes to try out and review.

 

We aim to develop a best practice model for similar competitions to allow medical charities to collaborate with patients and developers, to create new condition-related apps to benefit patients.

 

Supporting the challenge is a community interest organisation, HANDI, whose work with patients, developers and healthcare professionals aims to encourage innovation of digital technology to improve patient health and wellbeing.

 

HANDI will be offering their skills and expertise to the Health App Challenge with involvement in our one-day developer workshop, technical support to participants in bringing their innovative ideas to life and appraisal of the submitted apps.
To review or create an app for the Health App Challenge, visit our website from mid-May 2014 to find out more at www.healthappchallenge.org.uk

 

Follow us on Twitter @healthappc and join us on Facebook /healthappc
Mar 072014
 

At HC2014 in Manchester on 19th and 20th March UK Trade & Investment are hosting an International Exchange which may be of interest to HANDI members with products and service they wish to sell outside the UK. The exchange offers expert trade advice to enhance your business prospects. What's an International Exchange?

UKTI bring international trade experts and primed international buyers to you, so you can increase your export potential. Register for HC2014 and then pre-book your  one-to-one meeting with the expert / buyer of your choice.

What's the benefit?

Whether you've never exported before or you're an old-timer keen to increase your reach, at HC2014 the UKTI International Exchange enables you to:

• Present products to international buyers

• Discuss global opportunities and best practice

• Learn of industry developments in key markets

• Boost your international contacts and network

HC2014 is free to attend so book your free place.

 

 

Jan 302014
 

HANDI are looking for panel speakers and session facilitators for the HANDI Spring Symposium on Wednesday May in London.

The HANDI Health Apps Spring Symposium builds on the successful event run at EHI Live in November. Again working with EHI The HANDI Spring Symposium will take place at the Royal College of GPs, Euston Square, London on Wednesday 14th  May.

The symposium will provide an opportunity for the audience to discuss issues of concern to health and care app developers amongst themselves and with leading experts. Each session will consist of brief (5 minute) presentations from a panel of  three leading experts and practitioners after which the audience will be able to ask questions and make their own contribution which we hope will lead to a lively and informative discussion.

The sessions will be cover the following issues:

  • Finance, business models and startups
  • Quality assurance, safety and regulation
  • Informatics standards and interoperability
  • Tech and tools for app developers
  • User centred design
  • Digital Mental health and Wellbeing
  • Open source apps
  • UI, UX and information design

Were looking for experts and those currently struggling with the issues above who are willing to share their expertise and experience as well as a facilitator for each theme.

If you think you can help, or want to propose alternative themes please email ewan@handihealth.org outlining your interest

Jul 052013
 

 

I’m off to “Entrepreneur's Day with NHS England”  being organised by Cambridge Health Networks where I expect to see a lot of HANDI members and be able to recruit some new ones.

I’ve been a serial, if not always successful, commercial and social entrepreneur since I was 13 and through my work with HANDI I have spoken  literally many hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs in the digital health and care space, most of who are a lot closer to 13 than I am today.  So from my own experience and that of others I hope I know what entrepreneurs want.

Well , like all of us, they want some mixture of money, glory, power and sex and are driven to achieve this by a heady mixture of love and fear. But, to be more specific about what they want in the digital health and care world I think this falls in to three areas in this order:

A route to market

They want to understand which business models will enable them to deliver sustainable products and service and achieve the commercial and/or social return they seek. This means:

  • Help in getting an enterprise of the ground in particular investment and mentorship (although too many young entrepreneurs don’t recognise their need for the later)
  • Guidance on business models and in particular support for novel business models that have the potential to provide a better way to buy and sell than traditional ones.
  • If the target payer is the public sector, help through the procurement jungle and public procurement channels that are accessible to start-ups and micro-enterprises.
  • A sales channel. Many entrepreneurs have neither the capacity nor inclination to do the required selling and would find the assistance of a appropriately configured sales organisation really helpful.

Help with quality and regulation

This is a fraught area for entrepreneurs in health and care. They recognise the need for regulation where poor quality can cause serious harm, want to comply with regulatory requirements and recognise the value of being able to demonstrate they meet appropriate quality standards, but they don’t want to be mired in onerous bureaucratic processes. They want:

  • Clarity with regard to legal requirements so they can properly address their compliance and risk management.  Today, it can be near impossible to get such clarity from regulators like the MHRA.
  • Access to independent quality assurance services which can provide meaningful but lightweight quality and safety accreditation that allows those who invest in quality and safety to distinguish their products and services from those who don’t. There are too many “snake oil” salesmen in the health and care apps market.
  • Help and guidance in meeting those quality and safety requirements that are required or useful to them.

Help to play nicely together

Delivering the real promise of digital tools requires that individual products and service from different, maybe competing, suppliers can work together orchestrated so they provide a unified experience to user, sharing data where appropriate with access to the common services they need to achieve this. This means:

  • Help and guidance with regard to interfaces, standards, software orchestration and interoperability.
  • Meaningful access to open interfaces (APIs) on relevant third party systems.
  • Access to a digital health ecosystem that provides the infrastructure and services required to support interoperability, orchestration and playing nicely together.

HANDI can help with all of these things. I look forward to hear how NHS England can help.

Apr 152013
 

HANDI believes that the realisation of the promise of  digital tools to transform the way we deliver health and care requires an approach based on user centred designed involving frontline users. Clinicians form a substantial part of the user community and HANDI are strong supporters of the EHI CCIO Campaign which aims to strengthen clinical leadership  in the world of information and informatics through the appointment of a Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) in all NHS organisations.

In support of this object the EHI CCIO Campaign have established the CCIO Network. This network is not just for CCIOs and aspiring CCIOs, but for all with an interest in clinical informatics and is something we would urge all HANDI Members to consider joining. The network brings together clinicians, academics and those working in the technology industry to supply useful content, support best practice and participate in events.

The CCIO Leaders Network is a network built and continuing to build on existing clinical networks, and is fast becoming the home for clinical informatics.

By signing up to the CCIO Leaders Network you:

  • gain access to online resources, interviews and case studies
  • can enrol in our mentorship programme for developing future clinical information leaders
  • can take part in lively online discussions on key topics
  • receive the fortnightly newsletter with profiles and community discussions
  • receive invitations to a professionally focused events series, curated by a leading industry advisory panel

join a vibrant community for shared learning of best practice in Health IT

To get involved and participate in this growing community sign up free here:

www.ehi.co.uk/cciosignup

 

Mar 012013
 

One of our members, Dave Kilroy recently brought a cross platform development tool LiveCode to my attention. The Edinburgh based company behind LiveCode has just raised around £500k via KickStarter which will be used to clean up and re-factor their code base and take the project Open-Source.

LiveCode provides a cross platform tool then enables anyone to create apps quickly and easily and it seems to me that it will be of interest to many HANDI members.

Dave writes:

"Some of your readers/members may remember a thing called HyperCard from long ago - it was an easy-to-learn scripting environment where users could make pretty sophisticated (for the time) software. There were various 'flavours' of the technology but the best known version shipped with Apple computers - until Steve Jobs ditched it…

" However it didn't die out and after a series of adventures was taken on and re-invented by a Scottish Company called Runtime Revolution . The language is now called LiveCode - and it's pretty good!

 "In it you can develop software on a Linux, Windows or OSX machine and deploy to Windows, Linux and OSX desktops, there is a server version running on Apache, and you can use it to create apps for Android and iOS devices. It is not a 'pretend' language and with it you can make 'proper' software.

" You can find out lots more at RunRev's website but here are a few extra links:

"The company is in the process of making LiveCode open source, and as part of this they want to do a big clean up and re factoring of their huge and ancient code base - to fund this they  put out a KickStarter project  which has recently exceed its, target £350 k"