The NHS has grown to become one of the largest and best public health systems in the world. Our recent blog post provides just a glimpse into how technology has impacted its incredible 70-year history.
The question is – in the digital era that we live in, what does the future hold for the NHS? And how can we as an industry help the NHS achieve its ambitions?
Technological advances like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Intelligent Edge (IE) are starting to change the world as we know it and there’s no doubt they will impact the NHS too. IoT-enabled medical beds, for example, are currently being trialed in NHS organisations across the UK to tackle clinical challenges such as dementia, diabetes and mental health.
Even Prime Minister Theresa May recently pledged that AI will help the NHS prevent over 20,000 cancer-related deaths each year by 2033.
While it’s difficult to predict how such technological advances will realistically shape the future of healthcare, the NHS is clearly under pressure to not only keep up with ever increasing demand but to also innovate.
Whether it’s IoT, AI, IE or indeed any other revolutionary technology, the NHS needs to have a strong and future-proofed IT environment in place that enables the secure access and movement of data across a variety of systems and networks connected to these technologies.
Within the NHS, Advanced computing and data sharing will become ubiquitous; requiring an infrastructure that meets security and privacy regulations whilst bridging the gap between primary, secondary and tertiary care. One that can also be resilient and intelligent enough to withstand potentially catastrophic cyber-attacks.
Simply put, we must prevent the NHS’s digital transformation turning from utopia to dystopia.
An advanced technological infrastructure is therefore needed and hybrid IT could be just the medicine. Hybrid Infrastructure is a strategy, not a solution. It combines cloud computing with on-premise IT, enabling the NHS to migrate some applications to the cloud while keeping certain resources ‘in-house’.
What’s great about the cloud is that it can be configured, consumed and be brought online faster than traditional IT platforms, coupled with the flexibility to scale on demand – a critical requirement in the healthcare sector. It consequently enables the NHS to experiment with the cloud, which will be the backbone of many IoT, AI and IE projects, and bring applications to market faster.