Digital Health Lead, ABHI
The continued development and adoption of automated and data-driven technologies will be critical in ensuring the NHS continues to provide world-class healthcare.
The NHS is facing workforce issues including staff shortages, burnout and low morale. The use of big data and technology can help to address these issues by supporting the workforce in several ways.
Patterns in big data can help NHS
One way big data is being used is to help identify areas where staff are most needed. By analysing data on patient flow, hospital admissions and staff availability, hospitals can predict where there may be surges in demand and adjust staffing levels accordingly. This not only helps ensure that patients receive timely care but also helps prevent staff burnout by avoiding situations where they are stretched too thin.
Artificial intelligence supports early intervention
Another area where big data is being used is in the development of predictive analytics tools. These tools use machine learning algorithms to analyse patient data and identify those who are at risk of developing certain conditions or complications. By identifying these patients early on, healthcare providers can intervene before the condition worsens, potentially saving lives and reducing the burden on staff.
Technology can help make the NHS
a more efficient healthcare system.
Wearables and remote monitoring
In addition to big data, there have been technological and system advances aimed at supporting healthcare workers. One such innovation is the use of wearable devices and remote monitoring to track vital signs and provide real-time feedback to staff. This can help alert staff to potential issues before they become serious and help monitor patients who require close attention.
Removing low-value tasks
In addition to these examples focused on care delivery, technology can be used to automate administrative tasks. Freeing up time for clinicians to spend on direct patient care and allowing administrators to focus on higher-value tasks can help to improve the efficiency of the NHS.
Systematic adoption of technology is needed
Despite significant technological advances during the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHS is still in the early stages of systematic deployment of such technologies, but it has the potential to revolutionise the way the NHS works.
By supporting the workforce and improving the quality of care, technology can help make the NHS a more efficient healthcare system. While there are challenges to be overcome, the continued development and adoption of these tools will be critical in ensuring that the NHS can continue to provide world-class healthcare to patients across the UK.