Where did it come from?

The Liverpool City Region eHealth Cluster developed the Adoption Readiness Level® approach through working with our members and building on the practical learning from the introduction of digital technologies within Social Care Services by Liverpool City Council.

In addition to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment that is currently widely used, we recognised the need for organisations to consider their Adoption Readiness Level® (ARL) to increase the chances of innovations being adopted in Social Care and Health thus limiting wasted time and effort and increasing the outcomes for all stakeholders.

Key learning and feedback through the eHealth Cluster has demonstrated:

  • Technology has a role to play in supporting new ways of delivering care services, but it is an enabler and cannot drive change. Technology can add speed, uniformity and scale, but other aspects are equally, if not more significant.
  • In Social Care and Health what is needed is are new ways of working that can be widely adopted, not just products.
  • Digital products have the potential to promote and enable self-care in a way that existing Social Care and Health operating models cannot do.
  • Often technology is pushed on to services in a drive to “commercialise products” without due consideration of the impact or sustainability.
  • Often the biggest barrier to entering the market is not the stage of development of the technology, or even the existence of a need a related product addresses. Instead, market readiness in Health and Social Care is focused on how well a product fits into the working and commissioning practices of those who might use, buy or recommend such products. The Adoption Readiness Level® is thus focused on helping companies to more reliably exploit innovations and so become more profitable.

How was it developed?

We worked with cluster members including social care providers, commissioners, procurement and health services to develop the Adoption Readiness Level® model. 

The Adoption Readiness Level® assessment was based on the practical learning from implementing change within services, and in particular building on the learning from the introduction of digital technologies within Social Care Services by Liverpool City Council. Under the EU funded StopandGo project the eHealth Cluster supported Liverpool City Council and Home Care Providers to implement Digital Care Plans for Home Care Services using the PASS System by Everylife Technologies and the introduction of Safehouse IoT sensors in people’s homes using  a LoRaWAN network.

The eHealth Cluster is now supporting the practical implementation of the Liverpool 5G Testbed for Health and Social Care , and  we trialled the Adoption Readiness Level® assessment with the SMEs and products being deployed under the Liverpool 5G Pilot and further SMEs who have approached the eHealth Cluster. We continue to use this with new SMEs and products under the Liverpool 5G Testbed for Health and Social Care.

The Future

The 5G Pilot will enable us to validate the levels based on the evaluation of the pilot and the involvement of key stakeholders. We will then refine the Adoption Readiness Level® assessment tool to continue the development of a relevant, meaningful Adoption Readiness Level® scale.

We want to expand Adoption Readiness Level® assessment to include supported review and kitemarked accreditation. The cluster will also support organisations in applying the questionnaire and increasing scores in areas that may de deficient.   

Once tested and refined we propose that the Adoption Readiness Level® is completed and reviewed as part of technology funding programmes in order to redirect funding from technology development in isolation into the development of integrated services.

It is hoped that the Adoption Readiness Level® can sit alongside the TRL so that more attention is given to adoption and integration rather than focussing on technology development in isolation.

The Adoption Readiness Level® assessment will help organisations developing new products and services to review and improve their Adoption Readiness Level®.