After a jam-packed week of attending healthcare technology events Socitm Advisory's Health and Social Care Lead, Russ Charlesworth, has been reflecting on his time and insights gained.
"We must effectively synch the complex art of technology, societal expectations and ethical practice to create the best possible outcomes"
Regional Director, Health and Social Care Lead
Russ comments: "Earlier this week I attended the 'International Technology Enabled Care Conference' held in Birmingham. The conference centred around the theme of 'Citizen Powered Communities' and provided an opportunity to discuss how Technology Enabled Care is supporting users and communities.
The TSA (The representative body for Technology Enabled Care) produced and hosted an incredibly thought-provoking conference at the ICC across both days. Alison Scurfield, TSA Chief Executive, effectively articulated the priorities for technology enabled care over the next 5 years. Throughout her keynote speech Alison discussed three key recurring focuses within healthcare technology:
Being data rich and intelligence poor
Workforce development & associated culture change
More effective public/private partnerships.
During the speech it was great to be able to see and reflect upon how Socitm Advisory is continuing to support an industry focus addressing these overarching themes.
I was also fortunate enough to attend Hill Dickinson's insightful seminar on 'Information Governance in the Health Sector' on the Thursday of last week. Throughout the seminar it was discussed how outcomes required from integrated care systems rely on the foundation of sharing data for public benefit.
There is still a noticeable resistance to data sharing amongst individuals, with 1.6m opting out of national data sharing for health and social care. Yet, surprisingly, this did not extend to Generation Z, 98% of whom shared data with the belief that it was always done so for their own benefit, an interesting depiction of the differences across the generations. Throughout the seminar there was an overwhelming takeaway that it will be this foundation and resistance that will continue to challenge and stretch current information governance.
The seminar also focused on one of the newer and most interesting areas for information governance and GDPR within health & wellbeing: the topics of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although many of the existing ‘old world’ principles apply and will be upheld by the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) these new areas of technology will likely stretch the legislation and require fundamental new thinking and code. An example of where AI apps have already had unexpected data and ethics impacts was demonstrated in the US and Australia. In this instance AI has been used to trigger employment termination procedures purely by monitoring data about employee absences and performance without the presence of human intervention. The session really showed that in the area of information governance it appears we have a long way to go before we can effectively synch the complex art of technology, societal expectations and ethical practice to create the best possible outcomes for all.
Overall, an interesting and thoughtful week. Well done to all hosts and delegates for providing two great platforms for discussing, and hopefully enhancing, the future of technology within health and social care."