Excellent and thought provoking London meeting near Bank yesterday, many thanks to both Baker Botts for hosting us and KPMG / UCL for the IP on show.
Working with startups as I do, and from a “growth hack” perspective, it’s highly important to be very clear about the problems needing tackling before thinking about solutions.
As an NHS fan and tax payer, it was upsetting to see one slide yesterday from Dr Vincent showing some fairly rudimentary problems:
* Poor password control and management
* Inability to connect with local networks
* Disabled technology functions
Dr Christopher also talked about building a solution that, at first glance, seems to be a methodology for dealing with the generic development and operational scenario. As we know, complex environments subject to rapid change are hard to respond to and exist in.
The reason for the methodological approach, I suspect, again as Dr Christopher adroitly showed, was the plethora of various US and EU regulations being drawn up which the NHS seems compelled to adopt en-bloc and then slavishly adhere to piece by piece.
Is that really the case? Or can we challenge some of the approaches being taken?
It would also have been interesting to discuss the following, perhaps a future KPMG agenda, being either in the media or implicit in the above problems:
* Massive training overheads for NHS staff, likely to worsen under EU / US regulation
* False references: huge patient impacts on both “life assurance” and “data security”
* Poor quality management, allowing poor operational practice and poor staff training
* Emerging and extant access solutions: one password access, fingerprinting, face recognition
* How Big Data is beginning to offer solutions to eg Education & Training and Regulatory
* Access & “triage” queues in both GP surgeries and A&E
Going back to my growth hacker communities, I would suggest the following Health Tech Hacker projects and solutions would have some validity and viability, given superior engineering design, some true “out of the box” thinking and then especially excellence in business infrastructure building and service delivery:
* Adopting WiFi access from private hospital implementations eg Clementine Churchill, Harrow
* Big Data projects to help NHS staff train and re-train – too many nurses “fall out” of the system
* Regulatory infrastructure Big Data projects to help produce guideline values and behaviours
* Reference checker Apps, to be more sure people are who they say, and can do what they say
* Performance Management Software – loads of these out there, can the NHS adopt and adapt?
* Fingerprinting & face recog Apps to ease access issues with NHS systems
* Self-triage Apps to “queue” onto the NHS back end – more anonymous data at first
* The extent to which financial data security could provide 80% initial solutions & learning
Why take a hacker approach? We have so often seen monolithic solutions fail attempting to fix the world. Too big to fail? More like too big to succeed.
My understanding is that the UK hacker community elite has become adept at specific solutions to specific problems, the solution infrastructure then being later absorbed into a larger existing body. In fact I’ve already suggested a queueing App to my hacker community, and there is already some interest and commitment in pursuing that as a project.
In particular, we need engineering solutions of the sort that Dr Namiluko showed are possible, building on the UK heritage of top quality but sometimes even low tech engineering solutions based on specific needs. One great example of this, I found out recently, was the Hurricane air fighter we used in the second world war.
What I’m saying here is that hacking and engineering are already in the UK DNA. But we need to rediscover and reinvigorate these elements, ideally getting some celebrity endorsements to help spread the message even further.
Be good to talk about this more, happy to chat to anyone interested.