NHS Digital Is the national information and technology partner to the health and care system. It is responsible for the design, build, deployment and operation of key national systems, and the sponsorship, support and enablement of the design, build, deployment and operation of regional and local systems.
It seeks to maximise the utilisation of the external market, both specialist providers within the health and care sector and cross-sector providers of commodity technology or technical solutions, which might be readily adapted from other sectors to the health and care sector. As such, its interests in more rigorously exploring the 3rd party market of commodity products and services is very much aligned with those of the DRIVE program.
We see the potential for deployment of cross-sector commodity technology across many different areas of our work. Our first three areas of focus will be:
- The use of commodity integrated-communication technologies to drive collaboration across the system, including video and secure messaging channels as well as traditional email, and integration of these functions with NLP technologies to enable voice-to-text automation and automated coding of terminology from voice streams.
- Exploring how best to gain from the explosion in ML, NLP and other Al technologies to enable better leverage of the hugely-rich data within the health and care system to derive new insights about effective and efficient approaches to clinical service provision and to management of the NHS system.
- Exploring the use of commodity cloud data management and hosting services from hyper-cloud providers to deliver national platforms to facilitate alignment to NHS data standards, particularly FHIR messaging and SNOMED CT to ICD-11 mapping.
We expect multiple other areas of mutual interest to arise as the DRIVE unit becomes an increasing portal for commodity technology providers to demonstrate the applicability of their systems for use across health and care.
The DRIVE unit will be a 'hot-house' for this exploration activity, a rich environment for NHS Digital technologists to work alongside industry and academic colleagues In this work, and the launchpad for concepts which can be 'scaled-up' within our delivery programs or within regional and local technology programs across the system.