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How to get your tech innovation adopted by the NHS

Anyone seen a revolution?

According to the rhetoric from NHS leaders, there’s a revolution going on in health technology. But far from the land of opportunity, the cold hard reality is it is very difficult to get your innovation adopted by the NHS.

To succeed – and many don’t – you’ll need a positive attitude, a patient investor and a plan. Oh, and you had better be willing to wear out your shoe leather because you’ll need to meet a lot of NHS managers up and down the country.

But it’s all possible, and it starts with your first successful pilot. Take Bruce Hellman, the founder of uMotif, which makes beautifully designed apps for patients to track and monitor their health. He worked closely with a pilot trust to evolve and develop the app and sort out governance and IT issues, before deploying the app in a further 15 trusts.

When you’re looking for pilot site you’ll need a champion within the NHS organisation who gets what you’re doing and will help you work through the issues that come up. And crucially, help you develop a business case for the product, by measuring impact on clinical outcomes, efficiency or cost savings.

To move to widespread adoption by the NHS you’ll need to work on your proposition and make sure that customers understand what you do and the value of what you offer. Understand your clients and the constraints they are operating within and do whatever it takes to make sure they can purchase from you.

And finally, learn from others. The Health 2.0 community is a world-wide network of health tech entrepreneurs and many have faced similar challenges and can offer advice and support. The European annual conference is next week in London and is attended by over 500 attendees for three days of innovation, thought leadership, and networking in health care innovation and technology. And planning the revolution…

Zoe Bedford is leading a session, Getting Your Product Integrated Into Health Systems with Bruce Hellman on Tuesday 11th November at Health 2.0. Registration is still open and the full agenda complete with speakers, sessions, and panels can be found online.