This year’s Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology (HETT) expo, and my first ever HETT expo, was a great opportunity to learn about the current and future digital and technology projects, products and services happening on a global level.

The vast majority of my time was spent talking to staff at the dozens of stands in the grand Olympia conference hall. The freebies on offer were what one would generally expect; branded pens, branded sticky notepads, more branded pens, branded mints followed by even more branded pens. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by imprivata®, who gave me a branded glasses cleaning cloth! They even had branded car lighter USB charger device thingies!!! Thankfully they demonstrated were substance over style (which is saying something since they are rather stylish with their vibrant red brand). Their digital solution “…optimises clinical workflows by removing technology barriers”, which more less means they allows staff in clinical settings to wake up a computer and log in to a computer with the touch of card, which can often be their ID badge. Once in there will be no need to type a password again for any software they have entered a username, password or any other credentials for. “Single sign-on” as we like to call it is surely the way forward and doesn’t just save time from typing credentials, but crucially time having to remember a password, or worse, speaking to someone from the IT helpdesk to reset your password (including the minutes to actually get through to someone). And with the use of a dedicated webcam (which doesn’t come cheap, I might add), you can leave the computer desk in an emergency without the fear of someone using the computer with you still logged in. The dedicated webcam has very sophisticated sensors which are specifically looking for you, and logs you out if you go walkies.

Andy Bratt, Managing Director of Graphnet, gave me a lovely bottle of branded water. He also showed me the impressive work he is doing with his “CareCentric software [which] facilitates the planning and delivery of care services across a whole health community.” CareCentric acts as a portal to connect different clinical systems together, but is also powerful enough to work as an Electronic Health Record itself.

Dr Now® didn’t give me anything as exciting, just some novelty business cards in the shape of iPhones, but their video GP consultation service definitely held my attention. You can have unlimited consultations with an experienced GP between 7am and 10pm for just £5/month (yes, £5/month!!!). Consultations shouldn’t last more than about 6 minutes. Or, if you don’t want to pay monthly, it’s a £29 per consultation, which is about £20 cheaper than the average cost to see an NHS GP. A Dr Now® GP can even have prescription medicines sent to your door within a few hours when necessary, particularly useful if going to a pharmacist is not a viable option. On top of that, the service can be provided to companies in order to reduce costs on healthcare insurance or an in-house GP.
Although they are direct competitors, it was great learning about the interoperability work both Intersystems® and System C were working on, especially since their respective work meant that their solutions had to communicate with each other’s software. It shows that these businesses ultimately want to do what is best for patients, not just what is best for their own financial gain.

Another interesting product was the mobile healthcare platform Nervecentre which can process patient observations, handover, clinical assessments and task management. Whenever a user of the app wants to speak to another clinician, a nurse to a doctor for example, they can send instant messages within the app itself, and when necessary, to the patient’s clinical record as well. Its innovations like Nervcentre which will change the landscape of healthcare in general where clinical staff can perform all their documentation and receive all their alerts through a mobile device they can carry and one at the bed side.

Definitely a lot of inspiring work was on display and I look forward to seeing how healthcare will improve as these companies continue to work so hard on their products and services. I certainly learned a lot and can’t wait for next year’s event.

Thanks for reading

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