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NHS England Launches Innovation 'Test Beds'    [Date Added : 02/04/2016 ]
The British National Health Service (NHS) will launch its first wave of seven 'test beds to pilot technology such as wearables, apps, monitors and sensors to improve patient care. The innovation test beds include five for health and care innovations and two for Internet of Things (IoT), with health and care workers evaluating the combination of devices and data analysis to see how they can best help patients.

The innovations that prove successful will be made available to NHS and care organizations around the United Kingdom. The test beds are a result of collaboration between the NHS and suppliers such as IBM, Phillips and Verily. The aim is to modernize how the NHS delivers care. The "connected healthcare" market in the UK will be worth nearly US $3 billion by 2020, according to an analysis published by the professional services firm PwC.

One of the IoT test beds is the Diabetes Digital Coach, in the West of England. Patients will be given wearable sensors for remote monitoring and mobile self-management tools to help them manage their condition themselves. The other IoT pilot is a collaboration between Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS trust and a number of health technology providers to help people with dementia live at home for longer. Individuals and carers will be given wearables, monitors and other devices to help them take control over their own health and enable staff to deliver responsive services.

Quentin Cole, healthcare partner at PwC, says that the massive growth in the connected healthcare market would create huge opportunities: "By 2020 we expect connected healthcare will be worth US $50 billion globally, an average increase of 33% each year. Much of that growth will come from online prescriptions and an expansion in mobility healthcare, with both the public and private sectors making investments in this area."
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