Technological developments and a proliferation of data in health and care offer incredible opportunities for the future. Harnessing this technology could transform medicine forever, but we must recognise that the size and complexity of the health and care system means the adoption of new technologies is slow and often patchy. If properly adopted, these new technologies can help us eradicate ethnic inequalities in health and care. Alternatively, inattention to these new developments could further ingrain those inequalities.
Under this workstream, we look at the development and deployment of digital tools – such as video consultations, health monitoring apps, and workforce management systems – and help gather evidence on how they can be used equitably. We will also look at what existing data can tell us about health inequalities and, where necessary, recommend areas where more data should be collected. This includes considering how ethnicity is coded across existing health and care pathways, and how disparities are measured as part of existing performance reporting.
And we also look further to the future, aiming to better understanding developments in areas such as genomics and precision medicine, the adoption of artificial intelligence in diagnostic processes, and beyond.
As part of this workstream, we:
- Work with our specialist advisory group of expert analysts, policymakers, clinicians, and academics to guide our focus. This group helps to steer new research into digital inclusion, use of data, and emerging technologies.
- Are developing an interactive digital platform, drawing together data from a variety of sources to create a tool for system leaders to identify areas for attention, and to offer evidence-based solutions.
- Engage with experts in emerging technologies to commission and collaborate on experimental and forward-looking research and other projects.
We will achieve our goals in this workstream with the aid of our Digital, Data and Innovation group.