As internet connectivity becomes increasingly fast and mobile, the possibilities for digital technology to support more efficient and effective health and social care (including self-care) are endless. Whether these changes bring incremental improvements to established models of care or completely new models, SmartCare should deliver benefits to all stakeholders, including by enabling NHS budgets to stretch further, clinicians to optimise their workloads and academia and industry to generate higher quality evidence to support their endeavours. But it is of course the benefits to those receiving the care and those around them that are most important, and so the ultimate goal of any SmartCare project must always be to improve the health and quality of life for these people.
SEHTA has developed a methodology for creating and implementing SmartCare projects, which it has put into practical use in a number of its Consultancy Plus contracts with charities and major multinational companies – an overview of the main players, drivers and outcomes are shown in the figure below. This methodology can be adapted to any disease area and scaled to any size of Consortium.