latest health care news

20.09.13

Two new health informatics trials in Salford learning from Japan

The Greater Manchester area team at NHS England is launching a project with Hitachi to improve health informatics in the city. 

The partners have agreed to start two proof of concept projects from October 1 in Salford.  

The plans, which have been in developing since April this year, also involve the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, North West e-Health, Hitachi Consulting Co., Ltd. and Eagle Matrix Consulting Co. Ltd.

The first proof of concept project is to develop a “federated data platform to facilitate the collaboration of medical information in order to enable the provision of any number of new services that leverage the highest levels of privacy and security”. 

The other is a lifestyle improvement programme for diabetes. 

Hitachi says it is hoping to develop a new ‘informatics ecosystem’ for the rest of Greater Manchester and, eventually, England. 

Dr Mike Burrows, director of the NHS England area team for Greater Manchester, said: “We share many of the healthcare challenges faced in Japan and other parts of the world; namely, an ageing population and an increase in lifestyle- and poverty-associated healthcare problems such as obesity, leading to increases in diabetes.   

“This is against a backdrop of increasing demand, increasing costs of provision, finite resources and a system of providing healthcare that is reactive to healthcare problems when they emerge rather than pre-empting them. Generally, this is combined with disparate healthcare records, lots and lots of data with limited integration and imperfect information and patients who are disempowered from the healthcare processes. By working with Hitachi, which has world class technology and a track record of innovation, we can accelerate and expand our work for the benefit of our patients and population.”

Dr David Dalton, chief executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We have the potential and the commitment to address our healthcare challenges most notably because we have a cohesive healthcare system and, in North West e-Health (a collaboration between Salford Royal, Salford Clinical Commissioning Group and Manchester University, all part of the larger Manchester Academic Health Science Centre), we have in place a proof of concept integrated record that now has the potential to extend further. 

“The benefits are improved clinical decision making, planning information and research tools. In our work with Hitachi to-date we have seen a great willingness to collaborate and gain extensive understanding of the health ecosystem as well as a significant commitment already demonstrated to Greater Manchester. Our complementary skills and knowledge augur well for future partnership.”

Masaya Watanabe, vice president and executive officer of Hitachi, Ltd., who is also the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Innovation Officer of Hitachi’s Information and Telecommunication Systems Company, said: “Thanks to the cooperation of the NHS GM and all related organisations in Manchester, we have been able to successfully take this positive leap forward, from planning projects over the past six months to entering this new phase of real action in the form of POCs. 

“Moving forward we want to continue to focus on the needs of the patients and staff alike within the NHS and continue to deliver successes through our invaluable partnerships. Through these POC projects we want to further explore the impact that innovative technologies and services can have on the improvement of quality in healthcare and eventually expand the model to other regions within England and even bring what we learn and develop back to Japan. It’s about consolidating the strengths of the Hitachi Group and directly contributing to the advancement and improvement of healthcare and people’s quality of life in both England and Japan.” 

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