The new health secretary, Matt Hancock has not been in post long, but he is already leading in some very positive and interesting directions. Last month we saw ’The future of healthcare‘ released with digital solutions fundamental to delivering sustainable healthcare; while this month we had a timely reminder that ’Prevention is better than cure‘. Here at Arden & GEM we think that both represent exciting steps in just the right direction.
There are some clear overlaps and synergies between the two documents and, while some of the focus has been on the ’hi-tech‘ areas like genomics and artificial intelligence, we feel more attention could be given to some of the other areas of common ground. One of these is the challenge of ’predictive prevention‘, set out in Prevention is better than cure. As this document shows, preventative approaches can be highly effective but because of the scale of the problem our current methods of intervention simply won’t work.
Predictive prevention is about understanding who can best benefit from preventative interventions, and doing it before it is too late. We can help by using advanced analytics and algorithms to understand the needs of the whole population. We can then forecast who is likely to develop ill health in the coming years and who is likely to have already developed undiagnosed chronic conditions. This means efforts can be focussed on these patients.
How we help these patients take control of their own health and prevent deterioration is also changing, and again Arden & GEM is developing solutions to meet this evolving need. One example is the award winning social marketing campaigns we have developed to target specific patient sub-groups, using social media to deliver highly effective health messages. Another would be our digital health solutions, such as the MapMyDiabetes app, which provide a bridge between patients and clinicians, and the support and information to empower patients to better manage their conditions.
We know that these solutions aren’t quick wins; they require time and coordinated effort to deliver. Our experience of working on projects with the Global Digital Exemplars, and developing solutions for our clients, demonstrates that the undoubted ingredient for success will be collaboration.
If you would like to find out more about our innovative work in using data and digital technology in prevention, please contact Paul Birch at firstname.lastname@example.org
A graduate of the NHS Management Training Scheme, and with an MSc in Health Service Management, Paul is the associate director for business intelligence at Arden & GEM with a focus on applied analytics. With experience in contracting, provider management and performance management, Paul is able to bring applied solutions to complex problems. In his current role, Paul uses his specialist knowledge of data and analytics to develop information and reporting systems which support meaningful clinical change and improve outcomes for patients.