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Insights for the NHS’s FDP Procurement

Jun 28, 2022

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By Charles Boicey

The National Health Service (NHS) in England recently announced a procurement process for a "Federated Data Platform," a new data system designed to transform health care. The Federated Data Platform will be a new data system, designed to enable transformational healthcare change in a range of areas, including; population health, care coordination, and supply chain among them – through the promise of data liquidity, machine learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

For the last 5+ years we’ve worked with some of the largest health systems in the US, equivalent in scale to large NHS regions. As our experience has taught us, a project of such complexity and sophistication is likely to fail if it does not involve suppliers who have real breadth and depth of healthcare experience. As an organisation that is clinically led and designed specifically for healthcare, our knowledge and solutions have us uniquely-positioned in to solve the data crisis.

Our experience suggests the following learnings in respect of data platforms:

A Data Platform should be a living organism.

Types of data will evolve and grow over time so any data platform will need to be agile, nimble, responsive and needs to be easy and rewarding for care givers to interact with.

Trusted data generates infinite and innovative outcomes.

The single view of the truth is often illusive. Healthcare data is very complex and requires careful analysis. Individuals, organisations and integrated care systems will grasp the opportunities for improvements in outcomes that emerge once they have confidence in their Trusted Data.

Data literacy needs ongoing investment.

Health systems have struggled with siloed data for decades, a data platform changes this paradigm but healthcare staff need to be supported as they become more familiar and comfortable with using data as part of “that’s how we do things around here.” Over time staff can feel empowered to use data to drive decision making.

Early use cases that make peoples’ lives better will build momentum.

Just surfacing the data will quickly result in use cases such as shortening elective wait times (which NHS England has started to use recently) and managing outpatient services across many specialties with benefits for patients as well as staff. These successes will motivate teams to tackle broader based population health areas such as diabetes and acute heart failure management making patients’ lives better and staffs’ easier to serve.

Approachable AI

As use cases broaden into population health and research areas, predictive analytics will be increasingly important. However, with data science teams in short supply, these tools need to be accessible by domain experts, clinicians, analysts and researchers to keep the momentum building. The Clearsense Approachable AI tool does just that.

Ecosystems are more successful.

Transformational change requires partners working as teams and skills transfer – each partner brings different skills that combine with experienced professionals at our healthcare customers – to co-develop scalable and acceptable solutions. An ecosystem of highly experienced operators gives everyone the best chance of success.

All these learnings are built on a foundation of transparency in terms of where the data comes from, how it is being used, and the algorithms employed to analyse it. You will have heard that some of our health system customers call us the 'Clear Box' company because they can trace the data on our platform right through to its' original source. Rather than it being in a ‘black box’ environment, we view it as “your data, your way.”

We’re excited to see how we can partake in the FDP project as well as similar projects at ICSs’ and Trusts as data begins to be seen as a strategic asset that can benefit patients and care givers.