Population Health Management in the New Digital Age

Exploring opportunities for population health management in the context of contemporary developments in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and other trends in the digital economy.

The press and media are currently full of all things digital, including artificial intelligence and ‘algorithms,’ which often power robotics — from self-driving cars and automated delivery drones — to more prosaic forms of process automation; smart fabrics and wearable tech of all kinds; and the ever-sophisticated apps we have on our smartphones. We appear to be living in a new digital age.

And many have noted that, as the potential of these many innovations are realised, they present significant opportunities to transform the way in which we deliver health and care to citizens. Not least, many of these innovations offer capabilities for empowering patients to self-manage their own health and care, reducing the burden on over-stretched public services.

With this stress on the new digital revolution, the empowerment of the individual, and the use of large data sets to discover subtle new patterns informing prevention and care, existing healthcare information systems may begin to feel increasingly irrelevant — or at least at odds with this new agenda. Yet at the same time the UK NHS is focusing particularly on Population Health Management (PHM) and the associated supporting systems, their ability to offer an understanding of whole populations, and the delivery of ‘place-based’ systems of care.

At first sight, this initiative may appear to run counter to these new digital trends. However, in this short discussion paper I suggest that, on the contrary, there are significant synergies between the new digital health economy and more advanced population health management systems. I propose that to fully realise the potential of each, the disruptive technologies of the new digital entrepreneurs need to work closely with existing PHM platforms, to deliver better health and care to both individuals and to groups of patients.

Download my discussion paper to learn more about the innovations that have current, credible example systems available now or in production.

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