Delivering the Digital Dream


Last Wednesday CHN was hosted by McDermott, Will and Emery in their fantastic venue on the 46th floor of 22 Bishopsgate, and held a great conversation on the adoption of digital technologies in healthcare, in partnership with Amazon Web Services.

Our speakers were:

  • Joe Harrison, CEO Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and new National Director: NHS Digital Channels
  • Stella Vig, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Clinical Director for Recovery and National Clinical Director for Elective Care
  • Julian Hunt, UK/I Managing Partner, IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences

The conversation covered a range of perspectives as to whether digital technologies were (finally) being adopted and their benefits exploited in the NHS – or whether we still had a very long way to go.   

A less positive, ‘cup half empty’ perspective reflected:

  • healthcare continues to be a long way behind other industries
  • we are talking about the same things now as we did 40 years ago e.g. outpatient redesign
  • there are many many hoops, and hurdles to overcome to adopt new technologies
  • the media can often be very negative about new/alternative ways of delivering services
  • it is difficult to take out the old, even when we adopt the new, often resulting in financial (and other) benefits not being realised/captured

A more positive, cup half full, perspective reflected:

  • there is now a very forward-looking strategy and implementation plan for far more widespread adoption than there has been previously when many governments, leaders, clinicians and indeed patients have been reluctant to embrace digital technologies
  • the NHS App was very widely used during COVID and continues to be – the app continues to evolve and develop, providing an ever increasing range of functionality
  • the overwhelming majority of the population are now very familiar with digital technologies – and indeed expect to be able to access and interact with health and care services in the same way they do with other sectors.
  • at the same time we have to be aware of inequalities in access to digital tools, but we are making progress

Thank you to our generous hosts McDermott, Will and Emery and to our partner and supporter, Amazon Web Services.

Photo by Dr Murray Ellander.