Andrew Brooks explains how the LEP’s Health & Care Enterprise Committee will address the challenges faced by the sector.
The health and care sector is in need of enterprise and innovation. Health and care providers are facing rising costs and inconsistent outcomes, working to improve care and health outcomes while at the same time trying to reduce spending.
To achieve this there is often a trade-off between the quality of health and care and the ability to provide a good-quality service. In this context, any innovation or new technology that bridges this gap would be immeasurably valuable.
We want to provide more for less by developing services and products that provide better value, better outcomes, greater convenience and equality of access. But the performance of our current health and care system is defined, constrained and limited by issues such as rules and regulations, policies, operating models, customs adopted by the sector and the way people choose to use health and care services.
The sector has been struggling to escape these issues, but it must overcome these constraints to achieve a true breakthrough in productivity and performance.
We want to lend our support in overcoming these constraints, so we have created a Health & Care Enterprise Committee to act as an ambassador for the sector, lead on strategy and give focus to the delivery of the LEP’s emerging Local Industrial Strategy where it relates to health and care.
The committee will also seek to integrate health and care more effectively into the structure of the LEP, articulate a better economic argument between cost and value when it comes to health and care, and help to help accelerate enterprise and innovation in the sector.
It will also focus on musculoskeletal and mental health themes in response to the challenges of productivity in the work place.
The innovations outlined below have the potential to break the constraints of the health and care system through new business models that can deliver in ways not previously thought possible:
Applications of genetic sequencing to identify at-risk populations or target therapies to patients who are likely to respond
Lower-cost and highly customised medical technology products that can be tailored to suit the physiological needs of individual patients
Treatments with the potential to significantly extend survival for cancer patients without the negative side effects and related health care costs of traditional chemotherapy
The ability of computers to think like and complete tasks currently performed by humans with greater speed and accuracy
Allow for convenient, timely testing at the point of care, resulting in faster, more cohesive patient care
Simulated environments that could accelerate behaviour change in patients in a way that is safer, more convenient, and more accessible
Tapping data from social media and online communities to give health and care organisations the ability to track consumer experience and population health trends in real time
Biosensors and trackers
Technology-enabled activity trackers, monitors and sensors incorporated into clothing, accessories and devices that allow consumers and clinicians to easily monitor health
Retail clinics and urgent care centres that provide more convenient and lower-cost care to patients for a number of health issues
A more convenient way for consumers to access and increase self-care while potentially reducing visits and travel time; may also prevent complications and accident and emergency visits
The Greater Lincolnshire Health & Care Enterprise Committee has met twice and is working to lessen the burden of ill health on the health and care sector, meet patients’ changing needs in the 21st century, identify the scale of the current productivity challenge, and suggests viable options to meet this challenge.
Andrew Brooks is Commissioning Manager at Lincolnshire County Council.