AI and the future of digital transformation across Health and Care

I recently attended the DigitALLeeds Health and Care Event, bringing together stakeholders from Local Government and the NHS to discuss how digital technologies can positively impact health outcomes, which ties in with Leeds City Council’s commitment on being a Marmot City. The key theme this year was the use of and impact AI which is becoming a crucial component to help address the inequalities in health and care.

Studies show that those with health inequalities are more likely to become sick with chronic conditions 25 years earlier than others. So how can AI help and what are the benefits not only to the vulnerable but also the wider population?

AI is revolutionising health and care from both an NHS and Local Government point of view. It can be used in identifying and allowing early intervention to diagnose diseases, can help us understand the population health data to help personalise vaccines, and it can identify geographical areas where the population are more likely to visit A&E allowing pop walk-in centres to be deployed. However, one of the biggest uses of AI is in the deployment of Virtual Wards (where the UK leads the field), with results in Coventry and Warwickshire showing over a 4 week period a saving 876 bed days and only 5% readmission rates to hospital, alleviating the stress not only on the NHS but also Local Government Social Care particularly Adult Social Care – a statistic that I am sure will be welcomed up and down the country.

Another significant benefit for Social Care from the use of AI, is using the digital monitoring solution for in-home care. Newer more advanced systems as well as identifying falls in residents (falls are the largest mitigating factor in elderly mortality) can monitor room temperature, moisture and gas levels and link up with the Local Authority in situations where there is danger to the population which then also supports Smart City plans. From a personal point of view, as someone who has cared for a vulnerable relative, these advanced systems using AI would have made a great impact not only on the quality of life of my relative but also myself and I am excited to see where this development goes.

But the effect ripples wider still across regions and the nation as those with health inequalities tend to be economically inactive, thus by reversing the inequalities this means more people in paid employment and contributing to the local and national economy.

Whilst this all sounds ideal, the problem is often the skills gap, both on the side of the Local Authorities and the NHS in driving and delivering the digital transformation agenda. We have a fantastic network of candidates in Digital including AI, and if you are looking either now or in the future for any interim or permanent leaders in this space, we would love to hear from you. Similarly if you are a candidate with experience in these sectors, please reach out to discuss potential opportunities.