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We live in the digital age. Digital technologies—including apps, wearables, analytics, artificial intelligence, connected sensors and more— are profoundly reshaping the way we live and work. Likewise, such technologies are transforming health, medicine, wellness and care.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019 by NHS England, set out a wide-ranging programme to upgrade technology and digitally-enabled care across the NHS. In ten years’ time, the plan envisions an NHS in which people will be helped to stay well, to recognise important symptoms early, and to manage their own health, guided by digital tools. Clinicians will be able to interact with patient records and care plans wherever they are, with ready access to decision support and AI, without the administrative hassle of today. Care will be optimised for local populations. While data will be used to support consistent quality of care, eliminating unwanted variation across pathways of care.

The benefits of technology enabled care include improved outcomes, promotion of patient independence, reduction in avoidable service use, better coordination of care, and high levels of patient satisfaction, amongst others. Globally, the need to adopt technology to deliver such gains, while simultaneously reducing cost and meeting continually rising levels of demand is well recognised.

However, healthcare continues to lag behind other industries in both adopting technology and adapting its service models to accommodate new ways of being. Meanwhile, from the human perspective (whether patient, carer, clinician or professional), the success of digitally-enabled care is not only reliant upon effective technology but also upon the degree of adoption and digital engagement, both individually and collectively. A brilliant solution can only deliver great outcomes if it is used, action is taken, and a learning loop is established to refine and improve the action.

Today, healthcare organisations, staff, patients and carers are all asking what it means to be digitally enabled. How do we enable individuals, organisations and communities to be flexible, adaptable and open to embracing change? How do we enable adoption and create digital engagement? How do we ensure that alerts are recognised and the appropriate action taken? And how do we ensure solutions are appropriate in an age of information overload and technology overwhelm? Real world solutions are needed around the globe.

Using insights from both healthcare and other industries, design and recommend an innovative approach or framework that enables digital adoption and increases digital engagement in healthcare, be that from a patient or staff perspective.

Topic: Digitally Enabled Healthcare

Date: June 21-22, 2019

Location: Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL

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