Whether the NHS can deliver it, in that personalised way, will be where the challenges lie. The NHS will require a lot more effort and funding on their part but will result in better health outcomes.
Naomi Mwasambili added that she is an optimist but also has some concerns. The one size fits all approach in healthcare doesn’t work.
We have different people who discuss their healthcare challenges in different ways. Individualised healthcare will allow us to be able to see what we’re looking at; the way people talk about their health problems and the way the health problems might appear on their skin.
If they’ve got different skin tones, rashes, for example, can be looked at in a more objective way. With that said, often, humans hold biases, and these are the individuals who are creating the algorithms and creating the systems to then start to predict and prescribe these digital tools.
So, it is very important that we mimic what we’re doing offline, and we hold those same biases online as well.
Alex Barker added that with organisations that have access to personal data, if they can do primary formative research to understand what the problem is, then that data can be used in a much more effective way.
Daniel Grace shared similar beliefs. Healthcare data and personalised data has long been shown to be useful for patients, particularly as a GP.
We use things such as the curious calculate for cardiovascular risk and for cancer which can give patients a personalised result and a bit of a context to frame their risk.
The flip side of that and why Daniel has a bit of pessimism is when he considers who owns our data and what’s going to happen to it.
The public is worried that data can be sold. This is a reasonable worry if we think about the NHS, who have around 65 million patient records. This is a huge data mine for machine learning which means lots of organisations are interested in it.
The Royal Free Hospital where Google DeepMind obtained over a million patient data is an example of why this concern exists. There was a lot of controversy surrounding that, which has made the public rightfully concerned.
If we can earn trust and do it in a transparent way, that will benefit the collaboration of the technology and healthcare industry.
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