What might the Hewitt review mean for digital health providers?

The long awaited Hewitt review of integrated care systems was published today. We welcome the report’s acknowledgement of the opportunities to be gained by new digital and data technologies. ICSs provide an opportunity to truly do things differently and enable the vision of prevention and population health management to be realised. We hope that the opportunities for digital care are maximised.

Key points of consideration from the report for digital health providers include:

There are innovative ICSs and trusts across the country who should be looked to as examples of best practice. These include Dorset ICS, North East and North Cumbria ICS and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. Examples of how they have effectively implemented digital solutions are cited in the report. We have been fortunate to have these organisations in attendance at recent DHC meetings, enabling our members to find out more about how these innovative schemes were realised.

Digitising social care should be a priority for ICSs. The report recommends that NHS England, DHSC and ICSs work together to develop a minimum data sharing standards framework to improve interoperability and data sharing across organisational barriers, particularly focusing on GP practices, social care provision and VCFSEs providing health and care services.

The NHS App will continue to be prioritised as the health service’s digital front door. A national user group should be established for the NHS App to ensure that the public are involved with future development of the app. The report supports the app’s open architecture to allow innovators to develop and integrate solutions.

We’re looking forward to discussing the review and what it might mean for digital health companies at our upcoming meetings. If you’d be interested in joining us, get in touch at contact@digitalhealthcarecouncil.com