Network based systems

NHS Tech Innovation Network offers £9.5million for digital tools for doctors


Tech companies can bid to provide digital services to meet the needs of healthcare professionals under a new NHS GP technology innovation framework. NHS Digital says any organization can apply to be part of the framework, which has been designed “to encourage new ways of working” for doctors and other primary healthcare professionals. Up to £9.5million is up for grabs under the framework.

General practitioners and commission groups will have access to digital services that will help them provide better patient care. (Photo by Kobus Louw/iStock)

Potential suppliers will be able to submit an offer for the technology innovation framework if they can provide a solution that provides at least six essential functions of an electronic health record. These are: patient information maintenance, appointment management, consultation registration, prescription, referral management and resource management.

GPs and commissioning groups will be able to access these technologies so they can deliver “better care and work efficiently”, says NHS Digital. This is the third framework to launch as part of the Digital Care Service Catalog and will run alongside the GPIT Futures and Digital First Online Consultation and Video Consultation frameworks.

The new framework will not impact services provided by current GP system vendors, according to the RFP. Suppliers can apply from August 15.

How will the Technology Innovation Framework help GPs?

Accorder to NHS Digital, this new framework will help expand the core clinical systems available to the general-purpose computing market by encouraging innovation and moving towards an open, cloud-native architecture with “consistent technical and data standards.” NHS Digital also hopes this framework will create a “more competitive market to improve the quality and safety of staff and patients”.

By using public cloud-based solutions, GPs and commissioning groups can deliver significant improvements in usability and accessibility, the tender says, making the systems “easy to use, intuitive and compliant with the latest standards”. The NHS hopes to leverage the benefits of the consumption model deployed by cloud providers, where resources can be scaled up and down quickly based on demand. This will provide better value for money, the tender document states.

“The proposed framework will enable NHS Digital to release new standards, pursue new technologies in the core environment of EPR solutions; and increase solution diversity and innovation, ultimately giving GPs more choice,” the invitation reads.

Commissioning groups would also have a wider choice of solutions, including those built to new standards that focus on user-centered design, interoperate more easily, and improve access to patient data.

NHS Innovation Framework supports DDaT in healthcare vision

The Technology Innovation Framework is part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) vision to integrate digital, data and technology (DDaT) into the healthcare system.

In its policy document, ‘The future of healthcare: our vision of digital, data and technology in health and care », the government has set out its priorities for modernizing systems within the NHS and social care. These are infrastructure, digital services, innovation and skills and culture. The framework for technological innovation falls under digital services.

Published in October 2018, the DHSC said that while next-generation technologies are changing lives every day, it admitted that online services, basic computing tools and clinical tools in health and care ” are way behind where they need to be”. He then presented his vision, a five-year framework for the reform of general practitioner contractsrelating to the NHS long term planpublished in January 2019.

Read more: Patients need ‘education’ on NHS data sharing with Big Tech

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