General Manager, Digital Service North Europe, GE Healthcare
Clear guidance and support will help clinicians choose the best digital technology to meet the needs of their patients.
Digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are already everywhere in our lives, often without us even realising: satnavs telling us where to go; fashion apps showing us what to wear; and, in healthcare, tools such as the choose and book system of arranging appointments.
Overcoming reservations around digital health
However, the uptake of digital solutions in healthcare for more complex workflow and clinical applications has been slow and cautious. This is largely due to a lack of understanding of the technology itself and of its potential to improve efficiency and productivity, plus an underlying misconception that digital solutions might ‘replace’ healthcare professionals.
There is also no clear guidance for choosing the right tools, regulating the technologies on offer, and getting the best out of the AI opportunities out there. While the NHS is starting to work on quality standards and process models, clinicians are bombarded daily with promises of the latest hi-tech wizardry, but with no independent evidence to prove its worth.
The huge increase in workload created by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought digital healthcare and AI to the fore, catapulting technology ahead several years or more. Hospital staff are staring down the barrel of 12-hour days and seven-day weeks for the foreseeable future, and the search is on for tools that can really help.
Working together to develop the best solutions
There is a growing recognition that digital solutions can help to make workloads manageable, preventing clinician burnout, reinforcing standards that may have – out of necessity – slipped and, crucially, improving clinical outcomes.
However, the market is striding ahead so quickly that, while today’s AI solutions look fantastic, tomorrow there will probably be something even better. And the problem with speed can be lack of quality. It will be extremely important to identify where this technology can be most effective and useful, and sift through all the options available.
The huge increase in workload created by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought digital healthcare and AI to the fore, catapulting technology ahead several years or more.
GE Healthcare’s EMEA Edison Accelerator programme aims to do just that. This unique initiative serves as a hub, bringing together SMEs with AI capabilities and validation partners within the NHS to develop digital solutions that can meet clinicians’ and patients’ ongoing needs, and providing a framework to help monitor quality.
The power of digital solutions in healthcare has already been shown to improve efficiencies in workflow. There are undoubtedly numerous ways that this technology can be exploited further to not only transform today’s healthcare pressures, but also to develop healthcare provision for the future, in synergy with clinical medicine.
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