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
Photo by Dr Murray Ellander.