techUK Gives Big Data a Health Check in Manchester

Following on from successful events in London and Bristol, techUK held its third, and final for 2016, Big Data in Action Roadshow in Manchester yesterday, 25 October 2016.

Manchester roadshow opening slide

With the session being well over-subscribed delegates could look forward to a fantastic line-up of speakers at the first techUK Big Data in Action Roadshow which had a particular sector focus. Given the amount of devolution taking place in Manchester, our event was focused on the role and value of big data in healthcare, looking at the many possibilities as well as the challenges.

However before the presentations, delegates enjoyed a networking breakfast whilst taking in our exhibitors. These included the Hartree Centre, the Information Commissioner’s Office, Pro-Manchester, Federation of Small Business and Agile Solutions.

The event was once again kindly sponsored by the Hartree Centre and assisted by the FSB, Manchester Infomatics, Pro-Manchester and Business Cloud to ensure we attracted the right audience.

Our first speaker, Mike Broomhead, Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry Architect and CTO at IBM, outlined how organisations can take varied approaches to using analytics in healthcare, highlighting in particular the usefulness of predictive and prescriptive analytics in analysing entire population health, mapping out differences.

manchester roadshow ibm2

Michael Gleaves, Deputy Director at the Hartree Centre, outlined some of the work the centre is conducting in the health industry. Michael outlined the use of cognitive technologies, based on data, in providing clinicians with greater insights on diseases raising Crohn’s as a particular example.

Our next speaker, Professor Daniel Ray, Director of Data Science at NHS Digital, was able to set out the NHS’ priorities in utilising data, given that data outcomes for research and insight are one of the 10 themes as part of NHS Digital’s Paperless 2020 plan. As well as using big data to analyse healthcare itself, Daniel highlighted how using data can help evaluate health policy and determining effectiveness.

manchester roadshow nhs digital2

We were able to enjoy live demonstrations of how big data can be used in healthcare by Julia Ross, Chief Operating Officer at Pi Ltd. Julia outlined how big data provides a holistic view of the health services and the benefits of data sharing between NHS foundations and local authorities to identify particular pressure points.

Our final speaker, Ian Massingham, Technical Evangelist at Amazon Web Services, outlined the benefits of running real-time big data and analytics applications in the cloud. Ian also explained the steps that needed to be taken to implement these big data strategies.

Manchester roadshow panel

An audience question and answer session after the presentation also highlighted two key themes. The first was the incredibly importance issue of data governance, given the often sensitive and personal data created in healthcare. The second was the need to address the big data skills gap, which threatens to undermine the potential benefits of big data to health services. techUK published Understanding, Demystifying and Addressing the UK’s Big Data Skills Gap earlier this month which you can view here.

Through focusing on healthcare our Manchester Big Data in Action Roadshow highlighted the huge and varied potential big data had for health care services, from diagnosis, population health, disease mapping to policy analysis amongst others. However, as was mentioned at the event, despite the event’s focus on health care, many aspects of the use of big data are perfectly applicable to any other industry. Ranging from financial services, retail and hospitality to agriculture and many others, the considerations surrounding implementing a big data strategy are similar.

techUK’s series of Big Data in Action Roadshows have been highlighting exactly that. They have been making clear that big data strategies are applicable to all organisations of all size and sector, and have been explaining how to go about implementing these tools and technologies to tap in the huge potential available.

techUK will continue to highlight the importance of big data to the UK economy, society and citizens and to organisations of all size sector. If you would like to know more then please do contact Jeremy Lilley.

techUK are keen to do more across the regions and as a part of this will be back here hosting our Digital Devolution: Powering Public Services Reform event which we are running in partnership with CityVere on 10 November, taking place in City Labs Manchester. This event will explore how devolution can be a catalyst for change and the enabling role tech can play in delivering smarter devolution and keynote speakers include Bob Brown, CIO, Manchester City Council; Eddie Copeland, Nesta; Mike Pitts and Innovate UK.

Download the presentations from the event here:

Ian Massingham, AWS (pdf)Mike Broomhead, IBM (pdf)Michael Gleaves, Hartree Centre (pdf)

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