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Survey shows benefits and barriers to tech in healthcare



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NHS staff view technology as a key aspect of healthcare, but the intended benefits are not always felt where they are most needed, according to a survey by BT. 

It drew responses from 136 NHS and integrated care organisations within the NHS.

Findings included that 74% of healthcare professionals want their organisation to invest in new technological solutions and software to help attract new staff, and 83% think it can help attract a younger workforce from digitally native generations.

But 77% of respondents cited lack of funding as a major hurdle to obtaining the benefits from technology, while a lack of existing skills and resources (75%) and areas with no connectivity (58%) are also issues. 

Greater communication around technology adoption could help overcome these barriers, with 50% of respondents agreeing that regular feedback sessions will improve technology adoption and enhance their own role. Similar figures of 51% emerged for evidence of clear benefits and 55% for having a clear roadmap.

More co-creation

There were also strong calls for more co-creation during the development of solutions. 79% cited the benefits of PPI groups (patient, public involvement) as part of any technology design or deployment project within the NHS. 

Other findings included that the current standard of technology remains a source of stress for 49%.

Nearly all respondents (98%) agree that network, Wi-Fi infrastructure and mobile technology are critical to future innovations in the delivery of healthcare, but 58% suffer from building not-spots and 51% have to switch between devices to carry out tasks. Consequently, 59% cite difficulties implementing new technology with existing systems and 24% have reverted to older processes due to connectivity issues.  

Professor Sultan Mahmud, BT’s director of Healthcare, said: “It’s clear from this research that NHS staff have a real belief in technology and its potential for delivering greater healthcare for everyone. However, it’s also clear that we need to work together to evolve the approach to adoption and infrastructure. This is about making sure technology is a driver: easing staff stresses, supporting recruitment, unlocking digital transformation, and delivering better patient outcomes.” 

BT has launched its Vanguard Programme in which it partners with NHS trusts to co-create technology to meet healthcare challenges.


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