The NHS turns 65


This week marks 65 years of the NHS. For all the criticisms inevitably levelled at it, it’s widely acknowledged to be one of the leading health organisations in the world. Last month, despite a ring-fenced public budget for 2014, there were repeated calls for the NHS to live up to the £20bn Nicholson challenge for driving efficiency and savings as pressures of a long-running economic downturn and an overextended public purse continue.

Technology will sit at the heart of this efficiency drive, and of a broader transformation programme as the NHS role shifts from being an institution focused on treating chronic conditions to one that uses data-sharing and analytics, collaboration and digital practices to deliver healthcare services predictively.

Partnerships, such as ours with Aridhia, are emerging that aim to use big data technologies and techniques to create a platform capable of revolutionising the management of chronic health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, pulmonary conditions and cardiovascular disease. This can happen in a number of ways:

• through the use of predictive analytics set across multiple datasets in real-time;

• through the delivery of stratified medical pathways, drawing on patient, environmental, social and genetic data to anticipate treatment pathways;

• through the correlation, analysis and interpretation of telehealth, telemetry and genomic data to treat disease pre-emptively.

In a more detailed review of the progress and journey ahead I have written an article on the Guardian Healthcare Network which can be viewed in full here.

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