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Sustainable Healthcare: Empowering the NHS with Big Data

Tuesday 5 April 2016

When reading recent news articles where health is concerned, you could be forgiven for feeling increasingly pessimistic that sustainable Healthcare can exist within the NHS in the near future. Whether it is relentless reminders of the financial problems that threaten the organisation, backed unequivocally by official reports, or the morale-crushing contracts imposed on junior doctors that look to cause further strikes, time is running out for an organisation that is so important to the public it serves.

With such a wealth of recent history suggesting that the notion of the NHS achieving sustainable healthcare is quickly becoming an aspirational fantasy, what can be the long-term solutions moving forward?

Using Big Data as a Catalyst for Sustainable Healthcare

It is apparent that efficiency must be a priority for every aspect of the organisation; cost savings and patient care must no longer be treated as mutually-exclusive paradigms that exist in separate spaces, with the necessity for causal relationships to be established and acted upon rapidly if the organisation can constitute a real, tangible defiance to the steep slope that awaits if current spending remains unaltered.

The vast scope of required improvements must be prioritised, but perhaps beginning with readily available resources can be the start of a more efficient, sustainable healthcare model for NHS in the future. With this in mind, one of the obvious improvements is improving the utilisation of the masses of data already obtained across the entire service.

There is no doubt that ‘Big Data’ has firmly established itself in the UK economy, with a predicted boom in profits into the hundreds of billions pointing to the mass collection of data, such as health statistics collected by the increasing number of wearable devices, that allows for further insight than ever before into individual behaviour. The question remains: how can a sustainable NHS tap into this development?

Is Search-Powered Analytics the Answer?

CXAIR offers a unique solution that revolutionises the very concept of data analytics. Focussed on turning existing data into readily available, actionable results, it differs from other solutions with its user-friendly implementation of evolutionary search-based technology.

By broadening data collection beyond rigid, disparate entries, the unification of structured and unstructured data across multiple systems allows for huge savings from the first use. Time spent compiling reports is slashed, as seen with the CXAIR implementation into Sirona Care and Health, where quantitative data showcased a £500,000 saving in just six months. The potential for further savings is unprecedented in the data analytics field and demonstrates the power on offer to end users; by alleviating overreliance on IT departments to interpret data sets, time and subsequent spending are reduced immediately.

This is only the beginning, with real-time, visually striking healthcare dashboards just one of the many features showcasing the unmatched potential of the solution. The data transparency that is present in these easily built displays is just another example of the flexibility healthcare professionals can expect when requiring fast access to data while making informed decisions.

With a feature list that gives users the freedom to build fully customisable reports built into the user-friendly environment all aimed to rectify data anomalies, big data has the potential to act as a catalyst for sustainable healthcare and thus empowering the NHS inspire and empower a sustainable NHS through data utilisation across the entire country if harnessed correctly.

It is time to take a step back from the big picture and focus on the immediately rectifiable issues present in a data system in need of modernisation. While the news will no doubt be littered with an increasing amount of stories based on the future of a sustainable healthcare model for the NHS and the future challenges that will divide opinion, the growing presence of big data will hopefully push the NHS in a new, more efficient direction for future generations.

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