Inhealthcare CEO gives evidence to House of Lords Committee

Tens of thousands of new jobs could be created in Britain’s life sciences sector if the Government reforms the market for healthcare innovation, the chief executive of Inhealthcare told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.

Giving evidence to the committee’s inquiry on life sciences and industrial strategy, Bryn Sage said billions of pounds of revenues would be generated for the UK economy if the NHS embraced digital health technologies.  Widespread adoption of assisted self-care would also free up huge amounts of capacity within the health and care system, Mr Sage added.

He told the committee that individual NHS organisations are paid for activity rather than outcomes, which creates “perverse incentives” and encourages more people to be referred to hospitals rather than less. This deters clinicians from embracing innovations like self-testing technology as they would be penalised financially, Mr Sage added.

He also criticised the use of multi-year block contracts, which he said prevented new market entrants and lumbered commissioners and providers with ageing methodologies.

Mr Sage said new ways for delivering care might save a fortune for the NHS overall but if individual organisations cannot realise any benefit they are not interested.  He said: “That’s why it is all broken. There is no overall control. If you have someone who has a holistic view of the spend and the best practices and best outcomes, they can make that choice and save the NHS money overall.”

“For all its bad press the NHS is looked upon as a leader in the world, as it adopts these new technologies other nations will follow, which is great news for UK PLC.”

The Government has set out plans in its Industrial Strategy Green Paper to make the UK the best place in the world to invest in life sciences. The House of Lords committee is looking at whether the Government has the necessary structures in place to support the sector, including how the NHS can use procurement to stimulate innovation.

Inhealthcare is a digital health company focused on developing digital care services for the NHS. The company’s technology supports care in many areas including stroke prevention, mental health, chronic pain, long-term conditions, cancer, diabetes, wound management, nutrition and care homes. Its business plan is to work with local providers and commissioners to roll out its digital health platform region by region.

Its primary geographical focus is Yorkshire and the North East. It also has engagement with NHS providers in London and the Home Counties, East Anglia, the North West, Scotland and Northern Ireland.