Changing Health Director of Business Development Mark Scorringe shares some lessons from DigitalHealth.London
The world of NHS commissioning is a complex one. Decisions are made based on all manner of structures and processes, which for the innovative start-ups looking to transform healthcare provision, can be difficult to navigate.
Sharing new insights into how these structures and processes work was the aim of the DigitalHealth.London event Navigating the NHS for entrepreneurs. It provided an intense educational session for entrepreneurs trying to implement or scale innovations within the NHS, using better knowledge of the system to overcome practical barriers to adoption.
It was also a chance for dialogue with other innovative companies in the digital healthcare space, facilitating better understanding of the opportunities and challenges each are addressing.
The day made clear that even the most promising innovators have difficulties getting in front of key decision makers to make their case. Changing Health is fortunate in that the company meets an important and clearly defined need, the prevention of Type 2 diabetes through better education, and our business case addresses policy drivers already in play.
But the infrastructure for digital procurement is yet to be defined, and although Changing Health makes a compelling financial case and is proven to improve health outcomes, finding the right contacts to adopt the service at scale is a big challenge. Start-ups need to be nimble and proactive to find their way through an ever-changing commissioning landscape that differs from location to location.
“Start-ups need to be nimble and proactive to find their way through an ever-changing commissioning landscape that differs from location to location.“
“Commissioners need to get better at talking and innovators need to get better at listening,” said Care City Chief Executive John Craig. Crossing the bridge from developing a great product to delivering innovations at scale is about more than just recognising potential; it’s about gaining a through and complete understanding of the problem to be addressed.
Crucially, it’s also about retaining the flexibility to iterate quickly. According to Amanda Begley, Director of Innovations at UCL Partners, “Innovators need to understand the adopter context of their products”. In other words, Changing Health needs to know what keeps its users up and night and adapt the offering to ensure it addresses that problem.
With an improved knowledge of the mechanisms and processes supporting innovation in the NHS – thanks in part to support from the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator navigators, among others – Changing Health will be able to build an even more compelling evidence base for Commissioners.
“Changing Health will be able to build an even more compelling evidence base for Commissioners.“
As the NHS embarks on a culture shift towards digital, Changing Health is one of the innovators leading the way. Embracing digital gives the NHS the potential to address crises like diabetes quickly, cheaply and effectively – and transform healthcare provision for good.
Meet the author Mark Scorringe, Changing Health Business Development Director, on our team page.
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