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The Health Foundation: measuring outcomes that matter to patients

In late 2015, Rupert was invited to speak at a Health Foundation policy summit, dedicated to shaping the agenda on personal outcomes and focus on measuring outcomes that matter to patients (‘what they are, why they matter and how we might measure them?’).

The event brought together leading edge thinkers, expert practitioners and service users to focus on the challenges and opportunities of measuring outcomes that really matter, and Rupert’s session was focussed on aligning these measures with the needs of healthcare professionals, boards, commissioners and regulators.

EHI Live 2015: using big data to predict complications of diabetes

Our co-founder Rupert joined Mike Meritt-Holmes, CEO of the Big Data Partnership to speak at EHI Live 2015 on big data and outcomes. They shared an overview of the joint project OBH and BDP are currently working on to improve health outcomes in people with diabetes.

The project is the first to link huge amounts of health data and non-health data and analyse it using machine learning to support healthcare providers in making decisions about exactly who, when and how to pre-treat complications of diabetes.

HEALTHTech 2015

As one attendee on the night tweeted, “it’s not often you have a queue out of the door for an event run by an accounting firm!”

Our co-founder Nasrin was delighted to be asked to deliver the keynote speech at KPMG’s Healthtech event, telling the story of OBH’s growth and first few years in business in front of a very full house.  The evening was a great opportunity to celebrate the successes of UK Healthtech companies, and to share ideas and innovations with like-minded colleagues over a (not very healthy!) pizza.

“I feel like I’m helping more people now than when I was a doctor”

We were extremely proud earlier this year when our CTO Nasrin was named in this year’s Management Today 35 Women Under 35.

Dual trained in both Computer Science and Medicine, we’ve always known Nasrin was remarkable, so it’s nice to see others agree with team OBH! In her interview for the piece, Nasrin said: “I’d seen, first hand, the inefficiencies in healthcare and wanted to try and fix them. Life’s short; I saw that working in A&E. You have to put money aside and do what makes you happy.”

Interestingly, 29% of the list this year are entrepreneurs, revealing just how much startups and smaller businesses are now influencing the wider industry.

Well done Nasrin!

The right data for the right research at the right time

How do you build public trust in data sharing schemes? Our CEO Rupert joined a panel of experts at the Sowerby eHealth Symposium in July to share ideas on the subject.

The conference, chaired by Professor the Lord Ara Darzi, was a great chance to highlight the benefits to patients from data sharing, and to meet up with others who have been working to join up information across the NHS for a thought provoking morning of data debate.

Primary Care Commissioning conference: you can’t commission for outcomes you can’t measure

In July, we spoke at three workshops organised by Primary Care Commissioning which focussed on developing outcomes based indicators, and ensuring that we are measuring services against the right things when we contract for outcomes.

Our CEO Rupert and COO Juliana led two discussions as part of the day – one on developing the right outcomes and the second on creating the right indicators.

What are the right outcomes?

We covered the importance of engaging with patients to understand what matters to them, as well as addressing the frequent myth that outcomes are too difficult to define. We think that defining useful, meaningful and measurable outcomes is possible once you identify groups of people with similar needs, otherwise known as segmenting your population. And those outcomes are remarkably consistent across similar groups of people in different localities.

Creating the right indicators

Identifying existing indicators or creating new ones to better demonstrate improved outcomes is crucial. We discussed the different types of indicators (both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’), as well as techniques to match outcomes to existing PROMS.

Get in touch to find out more about our approach to defining and measuring outcomes.

Commissioning for Health and Care Transformation Conference

In July 2015, Rupert spoke at the Commissioning for Health and Care Transformation Conference in Central London. His session was focussed on how we can move on from traditional approaches to contracting for processes and inputs of care, and make outcome-based commissioning ‘mainstream’,

In his session, Rupert shared his thoughts on:

  • How outcomes based commissioning fits within the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View
  • The various legal vehicles and mechanisms available to contract for outcomes
  • Ways to ensure the outcomes specifications used for commissioning are identifiable and measurable.

Are we doing any good in healthcare? We don’t actually know

In June, Rupert and Nasrin spoke at the second SP+EE Mobile Health meetup on the topic of health outcomes. They shared their thoughts on incentivising health outcomes, what that means in practice, and how outcomes based approaches can provide scope for digital healthcare and technological innovation.

Rupert reminded the group that in the current system, we often don’t know if the treatment and services we offer patients are doing any good. Only by measuring outcomes, not outputs, can we start to build this knowledge.

A new vision for healthcare at digital health live

Digital Health Live “is about thinking big, thinking holistically and thinking differently”. OBH were at the Dubai World Trade Centre in May this year to take part in this major conference, which brings together like-minded people, all passionate about harnessing the power of digital to improve health outcomes across the world.

Rupert spoke about how funding for healthcare fits in to a world where we use digital technology to optimise patient outcomes, and gave an overview of the different reimbursement models that can enable these rapid advances.

New OBH project to measuring diabetes outcomes with mobile phone sensor data

In March 2015, we were very excited to secure a match funded grant for a £100,000 project from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to innovate the way health outcomes are measured in diabetes.

Knowledge about specific behaviours, lifestyles and environments is known to reveal insights about how an individual’s condition is most likely to progress and impact on their health outcomes. Through this work, we are creating a new technology to make acquiring this knowledge as easy as carrying your phone in your pocket.

The project is the first to record and correlate quality of life surveys and data from mobile phone sensors harnessing innovative machine learning technology, and we hope it will help healthcare to move beyond the current system of measuring and paying based on activity and processes of care, to understanding the actual impact of their services, interventions and treatments on the patient’s life.

Rupert Dunbar-Rees presented at EHI Live 2014 on ‘Using Data for Better Patient Outcomes’

Amid the furore surrounding patient identifiable data, Rupert and Mike Smith (CTO, MedeAnalytics) demonstrated how 21st century privacy enhancing technology can be used to allow data from the whole health economy to be linked at the patient level, enabling rich outcome measures for better patient care.