A programme which aimed to radically change how people interact with health and social care services has successfully put patients in four areas of the UK at the centre of decision making about their own care and even led to them designing the sort of care they will receive, Government technology experts have said.
The three-year dallas programme is managed by the Government’s innovation experts Innovate UK. dallas has been offering products and services designed with users in mind, with health and care professionals asking people about the sort of care they want to receive and giving them the tools and opportunity to take greater control of their own health and care and the choices they make.
The programme was designed to encourage people to take greater responsibility and ownership of their health and provide tools and services to help them do that. dallas tasked four consortia : i-Focus, Year Zero, More Independent (Mi) and Living it Up (LiU) to think beyond traditional health and social care, to consider how new ideas and technology can be used to improve the way people live and transform their choices as they age.
It has led to new products being used in the health and care system, such as; a House of memories
smartphone app which was co-designed by people with dementia and their families with industry for Mi Liverpool, or the eRedBook which was developed by Sitekit through the Year Zero programme and creates a digital version of the paper Child Health Record.
In the largest engagement campaign of this type, LiU worked with communities across Scotland to co-design a range of digital tools to support health, care and wellbeing.
It is hoped that dallas will provide a window into the future of healthcare in the UK, allowing patients to use the technology they want to manage their own health and care. Users will be able to look after themselves better and stay in good health for longer while at the same time reduce their reliance on health and social services by providing more effective and appropriate care. It could also help reduce costs.
Zahid Latif, head of health and care at Innovate UK said:
It’s Innovate UK’s job to think about the future. Our ageing population and changing lifestyle means that the way that health and care are provided in the UK must change. There is no escaping this reality and service innovation and technology will have to be an important part of that change.
We established the dallas programme to address these key issues. Innovation doesn’t just happen, it needs a collaborative approach and a diverse mix of people across a number of sectors focussed on removing barriers, and with the right funding to start solving the critical issues. I’m pleased to say that the dallas programme has been an important catalyst in cracking this difficult challenge.
Graham DeAth from i-focus said:
From an i-focus perspective, a particularly important aspect of dallas has been the work in bridging between the innovative, engaging and fast-moving world of the internet and the safe, protected world of health and care services and systems- establishing a template for a “semi-permeable membrane” between the two worlds. We believe that the impact of dallas in this area will be profound and long-term and is already resulting a range of new services that are both user-friendly and integrated into clinical pathways.
Dave Horsfield Mi Liverpool Senior Programme Manager said:
dallas has provided Liverpool the opportunity to begin to not only transform lives with technology but also begin to create a high growth economy through health and care innovation.
The programme has been independently evaluated by the University of Glasgow and has identified a number of “lessons learned” for the future roll-out of technology enabled health and care products and services. The dallas programme’s learning, knowhow and insights will now be hosted by the Digital Health and Care Alliance (DHACA). DHACA is a new sector wide organisation set up by the i-focus consortia and which is currently continuing to receive funding support post dallas from Innovate UK and with additional support of the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network. DHACA’s objectives are to help catalyse the market in digital health and care by addressing key obstacles and points of market failure on a consensus-based approach.
Charles Lowe, MD of DHACA commented: “dallas has already contributed to changing the lives of many people for the better and, when we look back in two years’ time, we’ll see some remarkable progress from these changes.”
DHACA represents nearly 600 members across health & social care: commissioners, providers, sector bodies, regulators and patient groups, together with tech firms ranging from micro SMEs and start-ups to major global brands. DHACA is emerging as a key mouthpiece and driver for this burgeoning industry.
John Eaglesham, MD of West Yorkshire technology firm ADI (Advanced Digital Institute) and a director of DHACA, is positive about the legacy that dallas will leave: “We’ve seen a real growth in awareness of what digital healthcare can deliver that is down to the pioneering and engaging
approach developed and adopted by dallas.
A good example of the potential of digital healthcare is a product that we’ve developed at ADI called PainSense, a set of digital resources and communication channels for people with chronic pain,” added John.
dallas has set the foundations for some amazing improvements in the delivery of health & care in the UK; DHACA will make available to all members wanting it the learning from that programme, and keep publicising the benefits, as they are realised. DHACA - membership is free.
Notes to editors
The investment was £ £19m investment by Innovate UK (Technology Strategy Board), a £1m investment by the National Institute for Health Research and a further £5m contribution from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise.
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports and keeping the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity.