Where are all the social care innovators and why weren’t they at a new and exciting conference on healthcare innovation? Sara McKee writes about her recent experience at the GIANT Health Event. 

Last month I was invited to participate in a new conference focused on global healthcare innovation, GIANT Health Event.   Conversations revolved around how digital technology, clinical innovation, data sharing and improved human interaction will massively impact the future of healthcare across all age groups in a positive way.

There were great discussions about choice and control, as well as lively debates about how best to collaborate and not forget about the human beings we are all aiming to serve. It was challenging and exhilarating to be with people who were pioneering new ways of thinking.

The conference was packed with representatives from major corporations, technology companies, education establishments, and NHS England. Yet I wondered – where were all the care home and home care providers?

Admittedly, a lot of the discussion revolved around digital technology innovation and it related to best clinical practice in health and care. The patient and human experience was critical to all the debates with an ambition to make technology enhance experiences,  giving more control to the individual rather than simply monitoring and tracking them. The importance of involving clinicians and patients in the design of solutions was also a common theme.

But there was a whole session on re-imaging the care industry led by Eric Kihlstrom from Ageing 2.0 and KareInn. And Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, Co-Founder of online home-care agency Cera, talked about how the NHS can move from sickcare to wellcare.

So given social care providers are looking after best part of half-a-million consumers across their services, you’d think they’d relish the opportunity to participate in an event that would open up the latest innovation in tech and care. The challenge is the legacy they’re dealing with day-to-day and the lack of appetite for risk and real change.

Well, change is going to happen.

I’d rather be with the pioneers, however scary and wide open that seems. Our time is now!

If you want to chat, I’m at LaingBuisson’s Northern Long Term Care Conference in Leeds on 7 December. I’ll be the one waving my arms around on stage.

Sara

Sara McKee

Evermore Founder and Director of Market Innovation


Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraMcKeeFRSA