It was a fitting finale to the Expo, which is a unique celebration of innovation, enterprise and collaboration, bringing together NHS and social care influencers, commissioners, industry leaders and many more who can help the NHS implement its five-year Forward View strategy which is designed to transform the UK’s 70-year-old healthcare system.
As headline sponsors, we’re proud and excited to collaborate with NHS England and all these partners because we are working to further develop healthcare transformation to help patients live better days.
Digital technologies and developments in particular are having a huge impact on healthcare and the possibilities are wide-ranging. Which is why we teamed up with NHS Digital and NHS England to create the HealthTech Zone to showcase some of the best practices of digital transformation.
The HealthTech Zone had a theatre which showcased 20 sessions over the two days. Visitors heard from GPs, clinical information officers, digital and technology experts and leaders in the NHS on how digital and technology are transforming health and care.
Coinciding with the 70th birthday of the NHS, the zone looked back on the past 70 years of innovation via our amazing NHS touchscreen, which was designed to look like a huge smart phone. We designed the screen to give visitors further information about digital tools, services and systems such as electronic referral services and electronic prescription services.
We also showcased products that looked forward to what the next 70 years could bring, such as 3D printing for medicines.
We’re developing 3D printing technology which may eventually personalise the dosage of tablets for patients instead of the 10, 20 and 50mg doses which are prescribed today in mass format.
So in the future, you may visit a GP who prescribes a medicine for you which is then made by your local pharmacist using a 3D printer.
Visitors who wanted a birds-eye view of our 3D printer could fly a drone over our zone thanks to our augmented reality experience.
‘Pilots’ grabbed hold of the controls and manoeuvred the drone on a screen in front of them. When they dropped onto one of the six landing pads, a banner popped up containing useful information about the NHS and Teva.
For example, generic medicines help the NHS save over £13 billion in just England and Wales. As the largest supplier of medicines to the NHS, we contribute almost £3 billion of these savings per year, helping to bring down rising healthcare costs. This saving could equate to 125,000 nurses, or 100,000 first year junior doctors, or 50,000 GPs each year.
If the experience of flying a drone was too much for our guests, they could kick back and network over a fresh coffee made by one of the barristers at our coffee bar.
Here in our network area, you could also learn more about the ways we’re testing chatbots to help healthcare professionals with simple queries around a product’s Summary of Product Characteristics.
For those seeking information from real people, the Expo had two main speaker stages and more than 100 workshops in the pop-up university.
We were delighted to produce a university session entitled Migraine, more than just a headache. Migraine is a complex yet common problem in the UK with almost six million people said to suffer.
It’s estimated that migraine costs the NHS more than £150 million per year, mostly down to GP visits and prescription drug costs.
Our session looked at this debilitating condition and heard from patient Catherine Sullivan, who spoke about the impact migraine was having on her life. We then looked at the barriers to a full diagnosis and successful treatment for this condition.
On the main stage of day one, Richard Daniell, our EVP, Head of Europe Commercial, joined three other panellists to discuss 'Digital technology in an evolving NHS: how can innovation deliver improved outcomes, transform workloads and support sustainability?'
Richard said that collaboration was key to a successful healthcare system in the future and that technology played a key part of this collaboration.
He said it’s early days, but Teva is investing selectively on innovative products that will make a difference to patients’ lives in the future, such as ‘smart’ inhalers, apps and 3D printers, which delegates could learn more about in our HealthTech Zone.
The consensus on the panel was that technology can provide very real, measurable improvements in health outcomes; that the individual pieces of the framework are gradually falling into place but there remain more steps to come in joining up the initiatives to provide end-to-end capability; and above all, digital innovation will be driven by collaboration across healthcare professionals, policy makers and industry. But above all, we can and will do more.
The Expo closed with a keynote address from the secretary of state for health and social care, who announced £200 million of funding to create additional global digital exemplars*, including the first community trust GDEs.
Seen here on the HealthTech Zone, Matt Hancock set out his plans to make the NHS an ecosystem for the best technology available, saying: “Now is the moment to put the failures of the past behind us, and set our sights on the NHS being the most cutting-edge system in the world for the use of technology to improve our health, make our lives easier, and make money go further, harnessing the amazing explosion of innovation that the connection of billions of minds through digital technology has brought to this world.”
Ahead of its national rollout in December, he also announced that the NHS App will be piloted in five areas across England.
The app includes:
Matt urged local healthcare leaders to fully embrace digital transformation and said he was determined to make this happen.
* A Global Digital Exemplar is an internationally recognised NHS provider delivering exceptional care, efficiently, through the use of world-class digital technology and information. Exemplars will share their learning and experiences to enable other trusts to follow in their footsteps as quickly and effectively as possible.
And as the curtain drops on another highly successful Expo, we reflect on the great conversations we’ve had and look forward to keeping the momentum going with many of the people we’ve met over the past two days.