TechUK, London, 11th August 2014
I presented a speech entitled "The Sky is Falling" - Health, Technology, Hurdles and Myths, addressing the difficulties experienced from both a consumer and a supplier standpoint - it was well-attended by representatives from industry, from both the design and manufacturing sectors.
There is often a perception that the hurdles in the way of successful implementation of technology in healthcare lie entirely in the camp of the consumer (the NHS), but in reality the problem has many facets. My speech examined these hurdles from several perspectives - technology-specific, healthcare-specific and non-specific hurdles that fall into both camps.
Technology-specific hurdles touched upon included problems with integration and interoperability, future-proofing and backwards compatibility issues. Healthcare-specific hurdles were grouped into age-related problems such as resistance to technology in the older generation and potential communication issues with the younger generation. There are, of course, problems specific to neither camp that also cause difficulties when it comes to the implementation of technology in a healthcare environment. Such problems include a general lack of flexibility and imagination in both camps, difficulties in establishing successful partnerships and (inevitably) finance.
The conclusion drew upon experiences from the day's previous speakers in combination with my own intimate knowledge of the healthcare system gained as a clinician, manager and patient - collaboration will be key to the success of future ventures. Technology must no longer be considered as merely an afterthought - it must become an integral part of the way we perceive healthcare if we are to successfully make the move from healthcare delivery to welfare assurance.