Posted on November 5, 2019 by staff

Healthcare leaders should be wary of ‘new and shiny’ tech


‘New and shiny’ HealthTech is not enough to keep today’s patients happy.

That is the warning made to healthcare leaders by John Sanderson, co-owner and director of Hicom Technology.

The Surrey-based software and app firm works in a range of sectors, with a focus on HealthTech solutions, and has created speciality systems to support the treatment of illnesses. One of its products, Diamond, is a web-based application for diabetes management designed for use by healthcare professionals.

It allows information to be exchanged between systems to avoid inaccuracies and duplicate data, allowing practitioners to view a patient’s details in real-time.

Sanderson spoke to BusinessCloud during the Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) conference.

“Healthcare providers typically are understaffed and under-resourced and they have a number of different plates to spin,” he said.

“Being able to think the correct way about a strategy that will inform the future of healthcare is probably one of, if not the, biggest challenge – because you’re dealing with clients’ issues, cost issues, quality issues and resource issues on a daily basis.”

Sanderson’s firm has 94 NHS customers in UK which make up the bulk of its healthcare sector clients. It also works in crime reduction, retail and recruitment with brands including Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainbury’s and Asda.

“The biggest challenge is responding to the the changing nature of the healthcare landscape, both from a supplier level and also from a provider,” Sanderson added.

“The typical reaction is to fix the biggest problem first, and that doesn’t lend itself to a strategic oversight – which is what NHSX is trying to do and which I think is a great initiative.”

Sanderson described an increasing demand from patients for better service, shorter waiting times and access to information in real-time.

The pressure to be responsive, he said, would drive many patients to find the healthcare service which best met these demands.

“If they [healthcare services] are not responsive, they will be judged on their performance and it will be transparent. We can choose private and public providers and we’ll go where we’re getting the best quality service.”

But he warned that the pressure should be met with strategy, rather than with fast, short-term tech adoption.

“It’s very easy to adopt tech that is new and shiny. It has to be responsible, ethical and practical as well,” he said.

“You’ve got to have a platform that has a long-term vision, and if you haven’t got that you’re just investing in tech that is going to burden you.

“In three years’ time, I hope to see that providers are tuned in to what the suppliers have to offer so the suppliers don’t leave the providers behind and vice versa.”