Cutting the Covid-19 Surgical Backlog through Digital Innovations

Last month, the Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London, hosted a roundtable on: ‘Cutting the Covid-19 Backlog through Digital Innovations’. Senior NHS leaders from a wide range of backgrounds working across the perioperative pathway, were invited to discuss where and how digital technology could help tackle the challenges that lie ahead in the Covid-19 recovery phase.

A report summarising the key insights discussed at the event is now available.

Executive summary:

  • A blended approach of face-to-face and digital consultations could be the answer to help manage clinical resource allocation more efficiently and reduce surgical waiting lists
  • Clinicians and patients should be involved in the early stages and testing of digital solutions, to ensure the technology is fit for purpose at the implementation stage
  • Digital consent platforms such as Concentric Health could help promote shared decision making between patients and healthcare professionals throughout the preoperative pathway
  • Proactive digital communications and digital tools to help engage patients during the preoperative pathway are key in helping prevent inefficiencies
  • The use of machine learning algorithms could help automate certain procedures
  • There are challenges in the acceptance of new automation tools – there is scepticism regarding the safety and impact of this technology
  • Digital inequalities affecting disadvantaged groups who do not have the resources, confidence, skills, knowledge, or appropriate environment to access virtual perioperative care should be considered when shifting to digital ways of working

Concentric Health is currently one of 20 digital health companies on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme.

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is a collaborative programme funded by London’s three Academic Health Science Networks – UCL Partners, Imperial College Health Partners, and the Health Innovation Network, MedCity, CW+ and receives match funding from the European Regional Development Fund.