May 17, 2020

NHS pledges £1.5mn to digitise the information between adult social care and health providers

Digital health
Catherine Sturman
3 min
NHS Digital has announced that it is set to provide three streams of funding to invest in the need for integrated care to ensure positive patient experi...

NHS Digital has announced that it is set to provide three streams of funding to invest in the need for integrated care to ensure positive patient experiences across the entire healthcare spectrum of services.

Local authorities will work alongside adult social care services and academics groups and can apply for funding to enhance data sharing capabilities across the healthcare industry.

The first £1.1mn funding stream will be provided for ‘demonstrator areas’ to adopt or develop digital products and services which can transfer information from clinical into adult social care settings, with the goal to increase both quality and efficiency of care, NHS Digital has stated.

Organisations will also be encouraged to utilise existing technologies, such as secure email service NHSmail and the online Medical Discharge Summary (MDS) given upon patient discharge.

A second £233,000 funding stream will be for providers who wish to look deeper into how, and what information moves from one stream to the other, and the ways in which data sharing can be improved to provide a seamless pathway.

Applicants from both adult social care with voluntary or charity sector status and local government authorities in partnership with adult social care are invited to participate in the funding rounds, but must be committed to the project.

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The third £250,000 funding stream will be provided to local authorities and research organisations to look at how predictive analytics can lead to enhanced prevention, or prediction of long-term patient needs, particularly for those with long-term health conditions.  

Additionally, organisations will be required to look at the ethical implications in relation to the use of predictive analytics in social care, with regards to patient confidentiality and human rights laws.

“Demonstrators will be chosen on the basis that their work could be replicated easily to deliver benefits quickly for the system and pave the way for a truly integrated future,” explained James Palmer, Programme Lead for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital.

“The work that we’re asking applicants to undertake on predictive analytics is significant given its potential to support people at earlier stages. We know that this is an area fraught with ethical considerations.

“Through the provision of this funding, we want to begin to understand both how predictive analytics could and should be used in the provision of social care.”

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department for Health and Social Care, added: “Timely access to accurate information is essential to supporting the efficient co-ordination of person-centred care.

“This can all be delivered much more quickly and accurately by the digital transfer of records through secure channels, or by more intelligent use of data, whilst maintaining privacy, respecting confidentiality and upholding people’s rights.”

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May 12, 2021

OMNI: First-ever platform to launch citizen RPA developers

3 min
OMNI is empowering employees to become ‘citizen RPA developers’, democratising automation and other AI technologies

Robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing segment of the enterprise software market due to its many benefits - from reducing manual errors to processing tasks faster. For businesses to truly benefit from this technology, RPA needs democratisation, and this is where citizen RPA development comes in. 

Gartner describes a citizen RPA developer as "a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” This could be anyone using IT tools and technology, not limited to IT specialists. 

The work citizen RPA developers do spans from identifying automation opportunities to developing RPA architecture and solution proposals, focusing on scalability and extensibility. By deploying citizen RPA developers, organisations can enable enterprise automation and digital transformation on a much larger scale. 

This is particularly beneficial for businesses struggling to undertake digital transformation, as a citizen RPA development programme can help drive adoption of automation as a strategic growth driver at multiple levels. With increased adoption, the cost of digital transformation becomes lower, increasing RoI. 

Technology needs to be democratised – right from low-code and no-code platforms, business process modelling and identifying automation opportunities to decision-makers at all levels, creating a pool of early adopters. This group could comprise people across different functions, especially those who are aware of customer preferences, industry trends and end user experience.

But how can organisations harness the power of citizen RPA development? Step forward AiRo Digital Labs, a Chicago-headquartered global tech company. 

AiRo provides innovative digital and automation solutions for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In 2021 they launched OMNI, a subscription-based, SaaS platform to help clients accelerate their citizen RPA developer program and build digital centres of excellence (COE) within their organisation. 

OMNI provides a personal RPA coach and virtual digital playground that helps enterprises rapidly build and scale automation, removing the risk of failure or talent gaps. The latter is key as research has shown that digitalisation is far more successful when championed by internal employees. 

This has the added bonus of empowering employees - who will self-learn technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), reducing the lead time for new applications and technology, as well as reducing technical gaps, making up for skills shortages and enabling their business to respond faster to critical market challenges. The virtual sandbox within OMNI gives access to all the major intelligent automation platforms where citizen RPA developers can build DIY digital prototypes. Additionally, they can access more than 150 digital assets within OMNI marketplace. 

The platinum helpdesk of OMNI acts as your personal coach and is available 24 x 7 to address issues during the digital learning, prototype building, and digital governance journey.  

Another key benefit is that it enables digitalisation to be bespoke to each organisation, compared to off-the-shelves initiatives plugged into the enterprise. Individual organisation's objectives decide the scope and size of the process. 

As Gartner state, in today’s world of SaaS, cloud, low-code and “no-code” tools, everyone can be a developer. 

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