Embracing the power of AI and machine learning will unlock an enormous resource of real-world data that will reshape our understanding of how healthcare can be best delivered.
AI offers opportunities to support diagnostics enabling and supporting early detection programmes offering earlier diagnosis and intervention, offering major opportunities for improved clinical outcomes and cost efficiencies. Machine Learning and AI are commonly used in other sectors for logistics, supply and planning support. These technologies provide opportunities for health and care organisations to deliver efficiencies and streamline services.
Robotic surgeries allow surgeons to undertake less invasive and more precise procedures. This can lead to improved clinical outcomes for patients and cost efficiencies, such as quicker recovery leading to less time spent in hospital.
By 2030, one in four people in Wales will be over 65 – that’s an estimated 700,000 people. It is important that we adopt new technology that will help the population stay healthy, happy and active for as long as possible. The importance of the challenge is reflected in Welsh Government’s ‘A Healthier Wales: our plan for Health and Social Care (2018)’, the ‘Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023' and ‘The Social Service and Well-Being Act (2014).
Life Sciences Hub Wales intends to address the challenge of healthy ageing with innovation in service delivery and technology adoption, such as remote monitoring, health maintenance, and the development and deployment of assistive technologies.
Welsh Government’s focus on the digital transformation of health and care services is an important commitment and further supports the significant infrastructure and resource required for Wales to capture benefits from the digital revolution.
Lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated how the Welsh health and social care system can embrace and deploy digital solutions at pace and scale to drive service delivery improvements. Remote monitoring and virtual wards provided the possibility of relieving pressure on the NHS and primary care. Relationships with industry were crucial to meet the scale and pace that the crisis demanded.
This provides opportunities for forming partnerships with industry to deliver higher value health and social care, rapid improvement and innovation. Well-managed and strongly governed access to high quality, multi-layered data (such as through the National Data Resource and existing data repositories) will attract industry and lead to partnership opportunities to develop new products and businesses in Wales.
Digital Health and Care Wales are working towards a number of application programming interfaces (APIs), which are tools, definitions, and protocols for integrating application software and services into health and social care in Wales.
Machine learning offers great promise for the interpretation of vast amounts of combined data which can be applied to diagnostics, medical imaging analysis, patient medical records, logistics and genetics. AI systems can rapidly interpret radiology images. While this will not replace clinicians, it will free them up to focus on more complex cases. This technology could go far in addressing the current shortages of radiologists, complementing initiatives such as the National Imaging Academy Wales.
Life Sciences Hub Wales can access key industry partners to support health boards and social care organisations to deliver the projects that support this transformation. We have strong networks and relationships with small and large digital healthcare businesses, matching them to the needs of health and social care. We also offer project management support to facilitate innovation adoption.
To find out more about our Digital, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics Programme contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.