Posted on December 8, 2017 by staff

NHS chief identifies four game-changing technologies


One of the most senior figures in the NHS has identified four types of technology which he thinks will transform the healthcare sector.

Sir Bruce Keogh is standing down as NHS England’s National Medical Director at the end of the year after a decade in the role.

He spoke to BusinessCloud during a visit to the North West when he attended an event called ‘Clinical Innovation & Transformation in Lancashire and South Cumbria’, which was attended by more than 100 clinicians.

A series of speakers shared stories about how technology was transforming patient care at the event, which was organised by Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, who is the Chief Clinical Officer of Blackpool CCG and the STP Lead for the Lancashire and South Cumbria footprint.

The event was hosted by BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire and Sir Bruce identified four types of game-changing technology.

“The first is mobile technology, second is artificial intelligence, the third is genomics (which is measurement of individual people’s DNA profile) and the fourth is the potential for blockchain technology which I don’t think we really understand,” he said.

Sir Keogh admitted blockchain probably seems a bit ‘whacky’ at the moment but urged the audience to “keep your eye on it”.

“Blockchain is the technology which underpins Bitcoin, because that enables us to store, in a distributed fashion, all sorts of information,” he told the audience.

“And I find myself wondering whether that isn’t going to enable us to store our medical records along with all sorts of other things in a distributed way, on the net, in a way that enables us to have complete control over our medical records and grant the necessary permissions from anywhere in the world – with far less technological hassle than we have at the moment in linking things up.”

The other speakers included: Dr Mark Spencer, clinical leader for primary care in Lancashire and South Cumbria; Magnus Hird, a pharmacist practitioner at Bloomfield Medical Centre and a regional clinical advisor at NHS 111; Linda Bracewell, chair, Lancashire and South Cumbria Pharmacy Network NHS England; Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health at Lancashire County Council; Andy Curran, Network Clinical Director Lancashire and South Cumbria Major Trauma Unit; and Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive, The Innovation Agency.