Members who have developed apps and other digital innovations for the health, care and local government sectors, may want to take advantage of the ‘pitch and talk’ showcase opportunity at Connected Local Government Live, 28/29 June in Birmingham. This opportunity comes free of charge. It was tested at the ADASS Care Apps Showcase on March 7. App developers and innovators, are selected from those who upload details to the Public Service Digital Exchange. This enables the audience – senior commissioners and budget holders from local authorities, health, and other public services – to hear about lots of new ideas and engage immediately with their developers in face-to-face discussions. Visit Connected Local Government Live – https://connectedlocalgovernment.co.uk/…and if you fancy attending the event anyway, the discount codes are Earlybird (ends 15th May) EBDHACAMember, after 15th May DHACAMember.
Life Sciences London Mayoral briefing
I was invited on behalf of DHACA to a round table with the Deputy Mayor of London, Rajesh Agrawal, on 11th April. The original intention was for a discussion to cover both the Mayor’s economic development strategy and Brexit-related issues. Discussion began with a question of whether we continue to need more innovation in the sector or whether we need to embed existing innovation before seeking more. This led to a debate over whether the NHS’s short-term concerns meant that the NHS was actually not really interested in innovation – one or two harrowing stories (the meeting was under Chatham House rules) made the point strongly. The attractions of NHS London as a sandbox for innovation were stressed.
We quickly moved on to Brexit, where, in line with my previous Ministerial briefing, I raised the issue of maintaining compliance with EU medical device regulation as an essential both to ensure we could continue exporting to EU countries and also to ensure that the UK was not ignored by those from outside the EU who saw the attractiveness of the 28 countries (currently) as a single market for medical devices and might well no longer market their latest medical advances to the UK if we were different, leading to poorer patient outcomes. There was general acceptance around the table for the first point, and clear surprise from some who had previously missed the second point. I went on to stress how this concern was, in turn, leading to a potential loss of the infrastructure in the UK, with for example the EMA scheduled to depart and UK notified bodies establishing themselves overseas as a precaution. An example was given too of a well-known bank that had just closed its life sciences department in the UK.
The other main concern, expressed by many, was the loss of employees from other EU countries: “why would they want to continue to come to the UK?”. Every employer in the room had a significant number of these and all were deeply concerned about losing them because of the continuing uncertainty. As a result this was agreed to be the issue of the highest importance, one solution being a special visa for such talent.
Rajesh listened actively and accepted all our points. He committed to ensuring that each was raised with appropriate Ministers. He emphasised the Mayor’s publicity drive encapsulated in the phrase “London is a European asset”.
Department of Health “Technology for carers” project
With great efforts from Carers UK and DHACA, we completed the required deliverables by 31st March. There is a delay on publication of the resulting video and publicity material so the tab on the DHACA website does contain some gaps which are likely to be filled in early May. However do please visit the Carers’ Tech Toolkit and let me know if you have any additions or corrections.
DHACA Day XII
We had to cancel the DHACA Day set for Leeds, 27 April as there was a low take-up. Hopefully most of the presenters can join us for the London event on 21st June at the Digital Catapult Centre in Euston Road, in between Euston & Kings Cross/St Pancras stations. That cancellation has sparked off a couple of members who are getting together to start up a Northern Section of DHACA – if you are interested in participating, please let me know so I can pass on your details.
In the meantime plans are being finalised for the 21st June – as these events are sellouts, do book early!
Royal Society of Medicine events
Finally, I just though I’d draw your attention to two events at the Royal Society of Medicine that I have been involved in setting up, and that I think could be of interest.
The first is the Future of Medicine: the Doctor’s Role in 2027, on May 18th, which has a host of excellent speakers looking at how technology is likely to change the way medicine is practised in ten year’s time, to help clinicians, healthcare managers, academics and suppliers prepare for those changes to ensure maximum improvement in patient outcomes. Book here.
The second event, Digital Health and Insurance: a Perfect Partnership? on June 1st brings in a wide range of international speakers to explore how, by giving insurers precision over the risks they are taking, digital health is transforming health insurance, both for humans and for pets, and in the process may well result in a fundamentally different way of providing, and paying for, health in the future. Not to be missed! Book here.
DHACA Managing Director