Redesigning Health: Insights on innovation to improve population health

Posted on: April 16th, 2024 by Morgan Arnold

As we approach the second anniversary of the establishment of Integrated Care Boards, this first discussion benefited from the insights of system leads and those participating in them, by looking at the role ICBs can play in delivering innovation to improve population health.   The purpose of the series is to explore current and future trends in healthcare with a focus on how health systems can be redesigned centred on prevention and improving population health – with support from all parts of the health ecosystem: public sector, industry, academic and medical research charities, and NGOs.

A number of key themes emerged from the discussion, including:

  • The availability of resource at the front line of innovation delivery
  • whether individual participating bodies are ‘innovation ready’ – it was observed that the NHS is good at running and evaluating pilots but that those deemed successful do not always get widely implemented in any case, and
  • the need for prioritisation – focusing on ‘priority areas’ and doing them well rather than trying to engage in dozens of unrelated projects

More broadly, roundtable also discussed the challenge of multimorbidity and the role innovation – both service and product – has to potentially free up GP time and enable them to provide greater support to this cohort of patients; the value that patient and public involvement brings to the co-creation and design of research and innovation; and the convening role that ICBs have in the innovation ecosystem and especially to encourage multisectoral collaboration.

The following two roundtables will build on today’s event:

  • In July, the theme will be Remodelling public health through data, and will focus on how data and AI are now the new engineering that can help prevent disease – in much the same way as Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s sewerage system did for infection in nineteenth century London.  AI is new and has positives and negatives – and as with the broader use of health data for research, planning and innovation there are ethical implications which if not managed correctly can result in public distrust. This roundtable will seek discuss the medico—ethical challenges alongside the opportunities and how we can ensure innovations to improve the public’s health are not hindered, whilst at the same time ensuring trust is not damaged.
  • The third and final roundtable in September will discuss Investing in prevention:  post-pandemic global health and will consider how a combination of geopolitical and economic pressures combined with post-Covid 19 recovery across the world means that the resources to support prevention are being tightened at a time when greater investment is required.  How can we ensure new innovations can be developed and reach the public but are not hindered due to lack of funding?  The session will also consider how health systems can prioritise innovations to prevent disease and how a multi sector approach can support investment in prevention.

To find out more, please email [email protected]