Emerging technologies and capabilities

We aim to bridge the gap between novel consumer-focused technology and existing health and care systems and services by utilising emerging technology to deliver improved health outcomes.

Realising the potential of emerging technology

While the majority of our focus is centred around our innovation pools, it is important to keep innovators equipped with the ‘art of the possible’. We select and bring together new and emerging technologies coupled with the expertise required to fully exploit the potential of these technologies. We then group these capabilities to address strategic health and care needs.

Emerging technology

Emerging technology in this context refers to new and innovative technology which has the capacity to be exploited for the health and care industry. We offer emerging technology to be added to our emerging tech innovation pool that we can call upon in the future when a suitable project is established. 

Exploring 

We understand that sometime we need to explore the potential and capabilities of new technology in the market. To allow this exploration we can offer grants of up to £15,000 to help us harness digital health and care capabilities of emerging technology.

Services and capabilities 

Often businesses, academics and health and care professionals have expertise, skills, capabilities and services that can help support digital health and care. We are always on the look out for these capabilities and services for us to harness on in the future.

Businesses, academics and health and care professionals can join our emerging tech innovation pool, so in the future when the right project comes along we can draw out the services and expertise required to develop projects.

What is emerging technology?

Want to know what emerging technology could transform health and care? Some examples are:

Drones

UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems) are more commonly referred to as drones. Principally a drone is a flying robot. The vehicle can be remotely controlled or can fly independently through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded system, working in concurrence with GPS.  Drones have most often been associated with the military but they have functionality in search and rescue, surveillance, firefighting and deliveries. Within the context of health and care, drones could be used in many different situations but a primary example would be the use of their fast delivery in emergency situations. For instance, drones would be of great use in delivering emergency medicines to those in remote locations. This emerging technology has great potential across several industries and should be exploited accordingly.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has been used in various different contexts since its development began in the early 00s. This has included various forms of entertainment in which the film industry has taken advantage of its stimulating function. However, in the context of health and care, virtual reality can help to reduce face-to-face contact that patients have with doctors. Remote monitoring and remote GP appointments where appropriate will ensure that people who perhaps live in remote locations or cannot get to a GP surgery due to illness can still have contact with their doctor. This will greatly alleviate waiting times and pressure on the primary care services and allow patients to still have one-to-one sessions with their doctor. The use of virtual reality in the context is still in its infancy but is sure to have a huge impact when it is put into practice in the near future.

Personalised Medicine

Personalised or stratified medicine is an emerging technology being used in the life sciences industry. Personalised medicine is achieved by screening people’s genetic profile to search for genetic traits which constitute an increased benefit from using a specific type of drug. By tailoring medicines to specific genetic cohorts of patients, side effects can be reduced and people can live longer and healthier lives with medicines that are suitable for them. The use of genome sequencing technology in this context is not new-the first human genome to be fully sequenced occurred in. However, applying this technology on such a large scale to benefit the lives of all patients is innovative.

Adherence to medicine checker

A great deal of medicines goes to waste as patients do not wish to take their medicines or they simply forget. This has implications in people’s care because they may not tell their clinician about this lapse in adherence. Therefore, the doctor cannot have a full knowledge of the patient’s adherence to the drugs. Adherence monitors allow for small technologies to be placed inside drugs which alert doctors to notify them that the drugs have been taken. This is hugely innovative and has great potential in the life sciences and health and care industries.

Pokemon-Go

Pokemon-Go has taken the world by storm, people everywhere are making use of the exciting technology for enjoyment. This can be translated into functionality within the health and care industry too because the aspect of gamification within applications like Pokemon-Go is very relevant to digital health initiatives. Getting people engaged in their own care is fundamental to a person-centred health care. Gamification can give people positive reinforcement surrounding the control of their health, encouraging them to continue. This is particularly relevant in conditions where self-management is critical to good health-encouraging people to get engaged and enjoy managing their conditions will be instrumental.

All ideas considered

Services or technology that do not fit into our key challenges, but that have the potential to support broader health and care transformation will also be evaluated and considered for addition to our emerging tech innovation pool. If a service or technology in our pool would benefit any of our new health and care projects these can be called upon in the future.

Examples of emerging technology that may be suitable for the pool are:

  • A digital tool that allows the parents of neonatal care babies to continue to bond with their new baby remotely
  • A ‘data analytics’ tool which allows  health and care researchers to analyse decades worth of exploration outcomes in huge ‘research findings’ databases, uncovering new patterns and possibilities within healthcare provision.

Join our capability pools

We are no longer seeking specific project ideas, but instead we are seeking businesses, organisations, academics, health and care professionals and others to register their capabilities with us. We will pool these interests and call on them should they be relevant to the identified themes. Register your capabilities below.

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