On The Mend
NHS physiotherapists know what they need to see with digital transformation
The latest critical assessment of the UK government's approach to digitisation of the NHS includes some clear recommendations from the physiotherapy profession
By Wesley Fogel
Last week, the UK government received the constitutional equivalent of a wrap on the knuckles for its performance in bringing digital transformation to the NHS.
As I have written recently, digital transformation is the only way the NHS (& UK economy) will recover.
The latest assessment of the government's performance shows that physiotherapists have a strong view of how they view the situation and what they need.
Here are nine eye-catching observations made by physios represented in the roundtable discussions referenced at the foot of the report:
1. There is a need to integrate with the NHS App, where physiotherapy hardly features at all at present.
2. Digital health providers need to build a solution around a specific problem, including through coproduction with patients and clinicians.
3. True interoperability is 'pie in the sky', and we probably don't have a workable solution despite being an issue for decades.
4. An ongoing conflict remains between providing virtual and in-person care.
5. It's hard to replicate success in the NHS from one part of the UK to another.
6. Basic tech like a properly running computer and single sign-on still need to be standard in the NHS.
7. Health apps should be seamlessly and widely available on as many devices as possible, including browsers, and account for other languages.
8. There still needs to be a national physiotherapy dataset available in the UK.
9. The NHS wants to partner with, and pay fairly, the right industry partners who can help solve challenges, and often this has meant trying to divorce from the biggest players.
While the whole report provides a long list of areas for improvement, it's hard not to find a strong and immediate call to action to address each of the points raised.
On The Mend was founded by a patient, surgeon and physiotherapist to build a digital platform connecting patients and healthcare professionals, enabling the delivery of tailored rehab plans in-person and virtually, generating valuable data that can transform how healthcare is delivered.
We are proud to work with healthcare partners to meet one of the most significant social pressures in decades and bring much-needed digital transformation to the NHS.
Wesley Fogel is the co-founder and CEO of On The Mend