The DRIVE unit has been pivotal in introducing innovation to the Trust. Our projects have supported staff to voice their ideas and find solutions, accelerated clinical data research, and demonstrated how the NHS can work with industry partners. We have also faced challenges with valuable learning that we will take into our future areas of work.
Read about our areas of focus for the future below.
The Clinical Intelligence Unit (CIU)
We will bring together and develop capabilities to leverage operational data. The CIU will partner with clinical teams to understand their needs and build digital tools that can support their roles.
We are also developing software that will be embedded in clinical care. For example, software that can automatically pull together evidence from millions of records to assist healthcare professionals in their decisions around care for a specific patient.
Dr Lola Solebo is a Consultant in Paediatric Ophthalmology at GOSH and post-graduate Epidemiologist at University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She has advised on how we can harness electronic patient data to improve eye care. She said: ‘‘Steroid-induced glaucoma is the most serious complication of steroid eye drops to treat inflammatory eye disease. A digital tool could help clinicians understand the potential impact of a current dose to plan for future treatment.
If we know how many eye drops a patient has received and could then see the effects of this for previous children, could make better informed treatment plans.’’
Hospital without walls
GOSH cares for children and young people with complex and rare conditions. They can be in hospital for weeks or months and may have to return frequently. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for families, and make it harder for
children to attend school and keep in touch with friends.
The ability to monitor and care for more patients whilst they’re at home can improve their experience, as well as reduce pressure on hospitals. This could also improve research by making it easier to take part and capturing different types of data at more regular intervals. For example, wearable devices could collect data in clinical trials to reduce the number of appointments for patients and provide even more valuable information on the treatment effects.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI has potential to help patients, healthcare staff and the healthcare industry through better utilisation of medical and administrative data. However, there are barriers to developing AI in healthcare, for example the need for huge volumes of data to train models and a secure testing environment. We will develop our secure, trusted digital infrastructure to train and test AI tools for healthcare of the future, and work with clinicians, patients and families, and industry partners to identify suitable use cases.
“Clinicians spend too much time sifting through information that could be more efficiently processed and presented using AI tools. This would give them more time to do what they do best – provide patient facing care. But building and managing the deployment of AI is complex, both technically and for us humans to change the way we work.
That’s why it’s important that we are bringing together all the necessary stakeholders, alongside meeting the technical requirements to do this.” - Dr Shankar Sridharan, GOSH Chief Clinical Information Officer
Collaboration underpins innovation and we will expand our partnerships across industry going forward. This includes collaboration with life sciences and medical technology companies, from start-ups to multinationals.
We will also grow our collaboration networks with EHDEN paediatrics and ECHO to investigate research questions that are specific to children and operational improvements in paediatric hospitals.
CIRP alumni have gone on to secure further funding and investment in the field of clinical informatics and human-computer interaction.
Furthermore, funding for the National Institute for Health and Care Research GOSH Biomedical Research Centre is supporting our first Applied Child Health Informatics theme to grow innovative data research and work with other academic and NHS organisations through a Paediatric Excellence Initiative.
In the next five years, we will bring together more innovators. We will exchange and combine our knowledge, ideas, and capabilities across professions and sectors, so that we can continue to build an Intelligent Research Hospital.
Skills and training for digital innovation
Digital innovation projects that involve data and technologies are complex. Data and cyber security are of the upmost importance and all teams across GOSH are responsible for maintaining this. Our ICT, Information Governance, and Research and Development teams are particularly involved.
Our DRE platform provides secure technical infrastructure to enable project teams to manage and analyse data. Alongside the technical capability, we needed to develop appropriate governance processes to ensure that data were handled safely and according to data protection regulations and best practice. This required new skills and training and this work will continue as our technical capabilities continue to expand with new data types.
Accessing and analysing data at scale is a new frontier in healthcare. This means that our staff need to develop new understanding and skills to implement these types of projects, whether they be with staff internally, or in collaboration with other partners that can bring a wealth of capability.
The DRIVE team worked hard to understand the governance landscape and other stakeholders so that we could bring together our existing processes and expertise.
- Stephen Mathew, Head of Innovation