In Manchester this week two leading experts in health informatics and big data will urge the UK’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to adopt long term commercial thinking in order to improve patient outcomes while delivering economic growth and a sustainable health system.
In 2013, with pressure increasing on the health service to improve treatment and deliver value for money, NHS England created fifteen new Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs)1, which will focus on innovation to boost outcomes and contribute to economic growth. These organisations bring together education, clinical research, informatics, training and healthcare delivery, and all have wealth creation central to their remit.
In a paper to be presented at the European Connected Health Alliance’s mHealth Ecosystem meeting in Manchester, Dr Cathy Kelly of health and biomedical informatics company Aridhia, and Chris Roche of big data experts EMC, will argue that to create wealth and so deliver growth for the UK’s economy, AHSNs should focus on building an open business model that addresses the long term healthcare market.
The authors counsel that economic growth will be created both from high-value jobs, such as data scientists and application developers, and from the creation of new information services for researchers and clinicians. These services could, and should, extend outside the health service and be offered and consumed by pharmaceutical and clinical research organisations.
The paper recognises the challenges facing AHSNs in their remit as platforms on which the NHS, academia and industry can collaborate to identify innovations and rapidly develop promising solutions to healthcare problems, as well as being tasked with transforming themselves into wealth creation bodies capable of driving economic growth. Prior to the creation of the AHSNs, the NHS was constrained by the need to optimise an existing operating system or adopt a model where only one organisation receives maximum profit.
Co-author and Medical Director of Aridhia, Dr Cathy Kelly, explains: “Early indications are that the UK is leading the charge globally in embracing open business models. If we are to truly have transformational impact on healthcare delivery the new AHSN structure will play a central role in accelerating this work.
“Increasingly clinicians will become responsible not only for the delivery of care, but for patient safety, improved clinical outcomes and patient experience – informatics is key to providing supporting for this.
It becomes evident that to create wealth an AHSN should consider focusing on building an open business model that addresses the long tail market of the healthcare system. Early adopters in this new marketplace are building and investing in an information platform that allow collaboration to take place both at the biomedical informatics level and relationship level.
“What the NHS needs to do to make this a reality is develop effective clinical informatics leadership and trust in the opportunities afforded by safe data sharing.”
Aridhia and EMC are part of a new breed of commercial and clinical partnership for the NHS and are already involved in the development of systems that will support the management of chronic disease. Their work will enable the personalised treatment of tens of millions of people living with chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
Chris Roche, Chief Technology Officer for EMC EMEA says: “New clinical and patient experiences will be enabled by new data and application fabrics that interact and serve the patient, researcher or clinician in the context of who they are, where they are and what they are doing in the moment. The ability to rapidly collect and analyse massive amounts of clinical, patient, imaging and genomic data and deliver real-time disease management services will enhance service delivery, stratify patient risk and improve clinical outcomes. D oing this in an open source model will facilitate choice and collaboration as the key design principles that underpin the new consumer grade biomedical information platform of future health services.”
The paper, ‘Open Business Models in a long tail market and why executing on a “consumer grade” biomedical informatics platform strategy is key to wealth creation for AHSNs’, will be presented by EMC’s Chris Roche on Thursday 12 December at the European Connected Health Alliance Manchester mHealth Ecosystem meeting. The presentation will be followed by a panel session which will include Dr Andy Judson, Director of Data Science at Aridhia.
The paper introduces business modelling and biomedical informatics concepts that the authors believe the leadership and management of AHSNs will need to embrace if they are to deliver on the wealth creation agenda.
For more information about Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs): http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/05/23/acc-health-sci-ntwrk/