From Apple Health Records to Integrated Care System, the afternoon sessions on day three of Digital Health Rewired were dedicated to virtual care and clinical software. 

Professor Joe Harrison, opened the Virtual Care Summit on 17 March with a keynote on the work he and his team have done with Apple to give patients mobile access to their patient record. The trust is offering patients access to Apple’s Health Records. The feature enables users to securely view and store their medical records within the health app on their iPhone, linking records from multiple healthcare providers.

The CEO of Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said the project is about “empowering patients” and took the audience through a demo of how the technology works, saying that he uses the Apple Health Record himself and said the technology has resulted in him “getting involved in my own care”.

He was followed by Ian Phoenix, director of technology for citizen health at NHS Digital, who is spoke about national tools for virtual citizen care. He said NHS Digital worked with Google, Twitter and Facebook to help stop misinformation about Covid-19 spreading.

Making things clinical

In the Clinical Software Summit audience members heard from Frank Hester, founder and chief executive of TPP, about the move toward Integrated Care Systems across the NHS.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets ambitions for all parts of the health and care system to be working together as ICSs from April 2021.

Hester said the end-goal of ICSs won’t be achieved with 50% input from technology.

“It won’t happen without the tech… it needs to be a lot better,” he said. He stressed the importance of clinicians having access to patient data, saying it’s about “getting the patient record in front of the doctor when they need it, at all times”.

Referring to a recent government proposal to overhaul the NHS, which includes embedding ICSs in law, Hester said he has seen many NHS  reorganisations in his career but “this one is different”.

Following Hester’s talk was Kate Walker, digital programme director at Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System.

She spoke of the four major barriers to technology the ICS had come up against: silos, capacity and capability, misaligned lever and penalties, and tribalism and protectionism.

She added there are two key drivers that will unlock the benefits of digital, data and technology in an ICS – the maturity of infrastructure and the maturity of the ability to transform.

She stressed the importance of putting the patient at the centre of ICS plans, wrapping the digital capabilities such as remote care, data fluidity and digital literacy around them.

The Summit continued with a series of case studies and lightning talks including scaling digital health in Rwanda, making Covid-19 digital transformation stick, and bringing district nursing into the 21st century.

The morning sessions were dedicated to the Cloud and Mobile and Connected Care Summits where delegates heard from Andy Callow, group chief digital information officer at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Lee Rickles, director of the Yorkshire and Humber Care Record Programme.

Digital Health Rewired 2021 is running from 15-19 March and is free for everyone from NHS, public sector, independent providers, charities and education sectors, plus start-ups less than three-years old.

You can book your place here