Digital transformation for the public sector: The case for National Health Services

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Tally Hatzakis | Senior Research Analyst

Date: 1 March 2018

Public authorities across Europe are under pressure to maintain and improve the quality of public services despite austerity cuts and demographic changes, which see an ageing population requiring increasing health and social care arrangements.

National Health Services across Europe, for example, suffer the impact of Europe’s ageing population and stalled economic growth. There is a social expectation that electronic services can help, especially through mobile apps which have become a norm in many other industries. People expect general health practice to provide comprehensive, personalised healthcare and see the process of digital transformation as an opportunity to gain greater transparency and a say on public issues.

Ultimately, the open eGovernment services in the health sector either address direct citizens’ needs or facilitate healthcare practitioners (such as doctors, nurses, care providers, pharmacists, etc.).

Online appointment systems, for example, enable citizens to make and manage appointments with GPs, while electronic prescriptions minimise the need for interaction, particularly for repeat prescriptions, minimising the administrative burden on surgeries and making the process more convenient for citizens.

Electronic access to one’s medical data allows citizens to share their data for a second opinion but also enables data sharing between experts to provide personalised services, particularly for those with compounded health issues.

electronic access to medical and health data

More recently personal health sensors measuring heartbeat, blood pressure, temperature, insulin and glucose levels, etc. are increasingly used to warn (citizens themselves, doctors, emergency units) when those indicators are alarming.

The use of ICT can improve access to medical services in rural settings where lack of transport, reduced mobility (for example, for the elderly or people with disability), decreased funding or lack of staffing create barriers to basic services.

Combining Big Data, data analytics, data mining and deep learning, the healthcare sector can go further into obtaining insights to possible illness causes, help in the diagnosis and suggest treatments that can shift the focus of healthcare to prevention, helping us to maintain our health and well-being for longer and contributing to overall standard of living.  With the advent of AI, one day we may even be able to have our personal virtual health assistant with whom we can interact in natural language to help us make better lifestyle choices.

Trilateral research is engaged with such complex, systemic problems at all levels. On the one hand, it has the in-house Big Data and data analytics and even data mining and deep learning expertise to support the development of ICT solutions. On the other hand, no technical solution can be successful unless it is part of a larger systemic change.

Trilateral research can undertake the foresight, strategic and business analysis to build the business case around solutions, but also facilitate the transition of organisations and public agencies toward their digital transformation and provide policy and funding recommendations to governments and public institutions.

Interested in digital transformation for the public sector? Feel free to contact our team for more information.

For more information on this research area please contact our team.