The NHS is currently in a ‘technological meltdown’ as a result of decades of under-investment in technology, according Dr. John Sandham, chairman of the EBME Expo. EBME and IT departments are also on a ‘collision course’ and there is a need to address the knowledge gap between the two disciplines, if the NHS is to succeed in its vision for a digital future. Louise Frampton reports.
As technology advances, there is a trend for increased intelligence in medical devices and a need for interoperability with hospital software systems. However, the NHS’s ageing fleet of portable and fixed assets are proving challenging to connect into organisational IT systems. Significant investment will be required to tackle the issue.
“Innovation in medical software, hardware, and artificial intelligence means the NHS is moving away from a system that purchases ‘individual pieces of medical equipment’, with IT departments mainly responsible for ‘management of IT’, towards a system which requires technologies to be integrated,” explains Dr. Sandham.
“The vision is for IT systems to be capable of connecting with medical devices, allowing data to be automatically inputted into the electronic patient record (EPR), with artificial intelligence analysing the data coming on to the platform – alerting clinical and nursing staff of any early signs of deterioration. When this is achieved successfully, it can lead to safer care, better outcomes for patients, and lower costs for healthcare organisations.”
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