digital health, interoperability
Wilhelm Muehlhausen, Head of Information, ICON, said: “We need more collaboration between vendors and they need to work together to define standards."

A panel discussion that took place in London today highlighted the key areas on how interoperability can become more dominant

(London, UK) A lack of interoperability is one of the key issues that currently exists within healthcare and health professionals think more collaboration is needed to overcome this.

Augustine Amusu, Head of IT Programmes, HCA Hospitals, Sarah Haywood, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MedCity and Wilhelm Muehlhausen, Head of Information, ICON, spoke about the main problems in adopting digital health at this time.

Muehlhausen said: “We need more collaboration between vendors and they need to work together to define standards.

“There are so many examples where it does work. We just need to get our head round it and make a concerted effort to define standards. When the top players get together and agree on these standards, this is when things will move forward.”

A key topic was whether the NHS can play a role in this. Haywood commented: “Certainly NHS in terms of its leadership in the UK can play a part.

“However, it does require a global effort and bringing together different healthcare systems to drive this and push this.

“It would also be great to see vendors recognise this of their own volition and their needs to be a coalition effort to push this forward.

Muehlhausen then gave examples of how this can work, albeit on a long-term scale. He added: “Pharmaceutical companies can exchange information between each other. This has taken 20 years but it can be done. It takes time and effort.”

Speaking at the FT Digital Health Summit Europe in London, Haywood also backed the NHS on the issue of funding.

“This is an area of investment in the NHS. From a NHS perspective it is clear there is no alternative in terms of embracing digital as a means of transformation,” said the CEO.

“We have a system that will always be grappling with demand. Now, we are in a situation that the patient really wants to own their data and contribute to it.

“This is something that isn’t being ignored, but being actively embraced and it is being recognised that this has to happen.”

 

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