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Scotland's data and AI strategy: enhancing healthcare and driving innovation

Healthcare systems are using artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise patient care, streamline operations and drive innovation.

Published on 24 October 2023

From: Digital and Security

Picture of Albert King

In today's data-driven world, healthcare systems are undergoing a remarkable transformation, unlocking the potential of data and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise patient care, streamline operations, and drive innovation.

Albert King is the Chief Data Officer at NHS National Services Scotland. He also served the same role with the Scottish Government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albert believes that Scotland is demonstrating its leading position in this space, thanks to its ongoing work to bring together high-quality national data assets that provide a foundation for insight and innovation.

Here, Albert shares more about Scotland’s ambitions and the potential that can be unlocked across health and care, as a result.

Our journey towards harnessing data and AI in Scottish healthcare offers valuable lessons and insights for the world. By bringing together high-quality data assets, that enable us to optimise use of resources, embracing predictive analysis, and enhancing service delivery, Scotland is transforming healthcare outcomes.

Scotland's pioneering approach to data and AI in healthcare has garnered global recognition. Partnerships with a range of global consultancies and technology companies are highlighting Scotland's leadership in this area. Such organisations view Scotland's move into the cloud as one of the most progressive and advanced steps in the global healthcare data landscape.

NHS National Services Scotland plays a pivotal role in bringing together data from across the Scottish healthcare system, using Seer2 to consolidate various data sets. This then enables collaborators (users) to unlock critical and actionable insights that can support operational improvements and patient outcomes. Here’s just some of themes of these potential benefits:

Optimising resources – One of the most significant opportunities that data presents in healthcare is the optimisation of resources. By offering decision-makers a comprehensive view of system pressures, data helps pinpoint areas where resources are needed most, leading to improved operational decision-making.

Predicting trends – Through predictive analysis, Scotland can model the impact of policy interventions or events on the healthcare system. This ability to anticipate policy outcomes or prepare for events like pandemics is nothing short of remarkable.

Enhancing service delivery – Improving service delivery is at the core of Scotland's data and AI strategy. The goal is to free up valuable time for healthcare professionals from paperwork or outdated systems and to focus on clinical expertise and compassionate care. The Cancer Medicines Outcomes Programme (CMOP) in Scotland has used the linking of national datasets with prescribing data to enable healthcare professionals to offer more personalised and effective care.

As we look to the future of healthcare, Scotland's model of data-driven decision-making serves as a beacon of innovation and a testament to the transformative power of data and AI. The world can learn from Scotland's journey and embrace the potential of data to create better health and social care systems, deliver more effective services, and ultimately, save lives.

Currently, Seer supports over 20,000 users across Scotland’s health and care economy. It has provided more than 100 data products to healthcare providers, government teams and academia, among others.