A search has begun for digital solutions to the biggest challenges facing the Welsh health and social care sectors today.

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Health Technology Wales (HTW) has launched a digital open topic call in a bid to identify the next big digital health technologies for Wales.

It is inviting health and social care professionals, technology developers and members of the public to submit their digital solutions by July 31st.

Digital health technologies include apps, programmes and software for use in the health or care system. Anybody can submit a topic and HTW prioritises the identification of topics with a significant expected impact on health and social care services. It is particularly interested in digital health technologies that have the potential to directly benefit patients, service users or their carers.

HTW, which appraises non-medicine health and care technologies and produces national guidance on whether they should be adopted in Wales, will assess the evidence available on each digital health technology submitted.

A decision will then be made on whether there is sufficient evidence to publish guidance that may support adoption of the technology in Wales.

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: 

“There is growing demand for digital solutions that can address the complex challenges facing the health and social care sectors in Wales, particularly as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have already seen how digital technology can revolutionise care and improve quality of life for people across Wales, allowing those with health conditions or social care needs to live independently for longer within their community. 

“This digital open topic call provides an exciting opportunity to identify innovative new technology with the potential to directly benefits patients or those receiving social care in Wales.  We face serious challenges ahead but there are solutions out there, perhaps within touch but not yet widely adopted. I would encourage anybody who has developed or who knows of such a solution to submit it to Health Technology Wales for their appraisal.”

Examples of digital health technologies previously appraised by HTW include FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring which allows diabetes patients to monitor their blood glucose levels by scanning a sensor. HTW published guidance recommending the routine adoption of Freestyle Libre across Wales.

Professor Peter Groves, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Chair of Health Technology Wales, said: 

“We are calling for suggestions of digital health technologies with the potential to significantly impact health and care services in Wales.

“There is huge potential for innovative technologies to address some of the challenges facing the NHS and the social care sector in Wales and it is important that HTW is made aware of those opportunities. By submitting a digital health technology to our open topic call you are helping to shape the future of our health and care services.”

Paul Mears, CEO of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, added:

“Innovation is the driving force behind everything we do in the NHS,  enabling us to adapt to the evolving challenges we face and provide the best possible care to patients and service users. This open topic call will enable HTW to identify innovative digital solutions that could make a real difference to the lives of people in Wales.”

“I would strongly encourage anybody with a  digital solution they think would support the health or social care sectors in Wales to submit it to HTW for appraisal.”

To find out more about the open topic call and the criteria for submitting a topic please read the frequently asked questions.

To submit a topic click here.