LIFESTYLE

Health Tech takes off in the UK

Health Tech takes off in the UK

More and more people use apps and devices to manage health

With over half of the UK population actively using health tech to manage their health and wellbeing1 and an estimated three million people accessing apps and gadgets via the NHS Accelerator programme,2 a government-led initiative to encourage the uptake of health tech, experts say the ‘health tech digital revolution’ is now in full-swing.

Just two years ago, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s Medical Director, predicted that using health devices would become one of the most important ways of improving the health of the nation.3

One of the catalysts for change and encouraging the increasing the use of health tech devices is the AXA PPP Health Tech & You initiative which seeks out new and exciting innovations that are designed to help people improve their fitness and health.

The digital health revolution has been embraced by AXA PPP healthcare which, as a result, has changed the way in which it helps support the health and wellbeing of its members and members of the general public.

Gordon Henderson, Director of Digital and Innovation at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “At AXA PPP healthcare, we understand that the way in which consumers increasingly want to access health information and take better care of their health and wellbeing is changing. As part of this change, together with our partners the Design Museum and social think tank 2020health, we are leading the AXA PPP Health Tech & You initiative.”

Now in its second year, AXA PPP Health Tech & You, has enabled more than 200 million people across the UK and abroad to watch and read about new innovations and organisations that are helping them to live healthier lives.

 One expert who has championed the growth in health tech innovation is Nick Hardiker, Health Informatics Professor at the University of Salford:

“In 2014 Professor Sir Bruce Keogh predicted that health tech would be the future of healthcare and that future was fast approaching.

“Indeed, today the number of apps on either of the leading app stores now exceeds 1.5 million ‒ and around 10 per cent of these have a focus on health and wellbeing. The potential in terms of using technology to help manage people’s health and wellbeing is clear. And this growth in awareness is being fuelled in the UK by initiatives such as AXA PPP Health Tech & You.”

The initiative grows from strength-to-strength. In 2014, the three partners, each with different but important attributes and capabilities, decided to work together to try to span the gap between design, health and tech in order to help improve the health and wellbeing of people in the UK and beyond.

Commenting on the success of AXA PPP Health Tech & You, Richard Cooper, Head of Digital and Content Marketing at AXA PPP healthcare, added:

“Since establishing our partnership, we have strived to challenge thinking, push boundaries and to support and grow an innovative community to bring ground-breaking health technologies to consumers to improve their health and wellbeing.”

“Our first year established and created huge awareness of the benefits of health tech, which has now grown through forging close relationships with organisations such as Innovate UK, WIRED, MedCity, Google and the Design Council.

“By supporting existing and innovations, developers and designers we are leading the way in providing more and better health information to our members and to the wider public. Our activities reinforce AXA PPP healthcare’s commitment to supporting healthcare for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

As for the innovators themselves, there is universal praise for the initiative and growing confidence about the growth potential of health tech.

Central to the initiative has been a dedicated Awards programme. One such organisation that was recently crowned winner of the AXA PPP Health Tech & You 2016 Problem/Solution Award is Psyomics.

Working with the Cambridge Centre for Neuropyschiatric Research, Psyomics is seeking to identify a method to detect biomarkers of mental illness using blood spot analysis. They then wish to engage, empower, educate and support individuals with mental health issues to seek the most appropriate treatment for them.

As part of winning the Award, Psyomics was presented with a grant by Innovate UK worth £35,000 to help them develop an app for working-age people to provide information on mental health as well as offer practical advice and link to sources of further support.

Richard Cooper added: “Like Psyomics, AXA PPP healthcare aims to provide its members and members of the public with practical health information that can help them to understand more about preventing and managing health conditions. Mental health affects an estimated one in four people in the UK at some point in their life,4 so we praise Psyomics for looking to further help empower people to understand their own wellbeing and mental health.”

For more information on AXA PPP Health Tech & You, please visit www.healthtechandyou.com as well as download the app, which is free and available from the App Store and Google Play by searching AXA PPP Health Tech & You.

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