The future of digital innovation in health and RIVIAM’s vision

09/10/2018 13:58

In this post Claire Hopkins speaks to RIVIAM MD, Paul Targett, about the future of digital innovation in health and how RIVIAM is helping to manage the health of thousands of people across the UK.

The interview was originally published by the Bath Digital Festival 2018 - a week long celebration of digital technology.

Claire: What is the big problem in healthcare technology today?

Paul: Automation and tech-driven innovation have transformed most industries. Data is used to make better decisions, manage risk and innovate brilliant new services which have improved the way we live and work.

But the health and social care industry in this country has been slow to adopt the innovations created by the rise of digital technology. It’s lagging behind other industries. There are various reasons for this including: the perceived constraints of organisational boundaries; that people are burnt by past large technology failure and expect IT not to work; and information governance, which is often cited as a reason not to progress, when in fact people expect their information to be used for their healthcare.

With a real term reduction in budgets, the NHS is having to do more with less. This means that investment in people and facilities comes first and second, and new innovation in technology is in third place.

What’s clear, though, is that the NHS can’t afford not to digitise.

Digital Health

Claire: So what is changing?

Paul: Our ageing population and the lack of money in the NHS are forcing the need for change. More and more providers and commissioners are recognising we won’t be able to sustain health services unless we embrace the opportunities created by technology.

There is also a renewed understanding that progress isn’t just about installing IT solutions; it’s about creating and embedding change in how organisations use digital to co-operate and work better together to deliver care services, engaging citizens in the process.

Often these services require a modern cross-community approach - nurses, community health professionals, GPs and specialists all collaborating to provide people with care which is often delivered in the community. That’s what we are enabling.

Claire: How does RIVIAM help?

Paul: One of the largest current barriers preventing organisations working in this co-ordinated approach is the way information flows. The flow of information is difficult within organisations and across to other supporting services. This impacts the logistics of getting the right people to the right place and also ensuring people providing care have the right information.

Most people will have had an experience themselves, or of someone they care about, being discharged from hospital or the local community provider without the right information. The frustration for people trying to help a family member or a friend get better care is that they end up co-ordinating the different agencies themselves.

This is where RIVIAM helps.

We provide digital services that link different organisations and computer systems together so that professionals can access the information they need when they need it, wherever they need it. RIVIAM acts as a bridge to help service providers co-ordinate joined-up care to people. We do this by providing easy to use web and mobile sites for people to use, manage the workflow of activity through RIVIAM and integrate with existing clinical systems.

So we’re focusing on delivering three things:

  1. Creating great mobile and web apps so that people can very easily receive and share information with their healthcare providers.
  2. Developing easy to use tools for providers so they can transform how service centres work and better manage and co-ordinate care for people.
  3. Helping GPs work better with hospitals and community providers to improve their patients lives.

A paramedic from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust using RIVIAM

Claire: What are you doing in Bath and the South West?

Paul: Today we help to manage the health of thousands of people in the Bath area, the South West as well further afield. Local GP practices are using our systems to create and manage new GP-led community services. Every day we have paramedics and GPs on the road using our mobile solutions, and we’ll soon be supporting appointment booking across GP practices. Recently our online eConsent service for Flu and HPV has gone line with thousands of people interacting almost every hour of the day with our services.

Locally we are working with BEMS and Virgin Care help them innovate and embrace digital to improve people’s lives.

If you are an organisation co-ordinating care and would like to have discussion about how RIVIAM can help, we’d love to hear from you.

We want to hear from you

If you would like to find out more about our services and how we can help, please get in touch

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