July 10, 2013

How Smartphones Are Changing the Face of the Medical Profession

Mobile device being used.Smartphones have dramatically altered the way in which we communicate with each other, access the internet, conduct business affairs, and now even deal with medical conditions. Technology has always been a driving force behind improvements in the medical profession and the creation of Smartphones and tablet computers has enabled app and gadget developers to create some amazing inventions to push us forward once more.

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June 02, 2013

Process and Outcome

It's years ago, but I still remember the reception I received when during my first large-scale NHS IT implementation I suggested that doctors might like to record outcome information. I can still recall the smell of my singed fingertips. Until recently, the NHS has been obsessed with recording process data fitting an organization with its roots still in the mid-twentieth century.

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May 10, 2013

Stop Saving the NHS: new book

Stop Saving the NHS cover (small).jpgWell I have done it. My book Stop Saving the NHS and Start Reinventing it has been published in Kindle and paperback. It's aimed at NHS leaders and managers, but will probably interest anyone who is interested in the shape of 21st century healthcare.

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June 22, 2012

Alan Turing Enigma

Picture of the user console of ACEIn the photographs, dressed in jacket and dark tie, he looks like the prefect at my grammar school who cowered against the corridor walls when other pupils approached him. The mathematician and visionary Alan Turing is the subject of a compact exhibition at the Science Museum in London.

During the Second World War Turing famously helped to crack the German Enigma code using one of the earliest electronic computers, the 'bombe'. The cracking of the cipher, which the Germans believed impossible, probably shortened the war by years, saving countless lives.

Dozens of wheels rotated in each bombe making a noise like 'a thousand knitting needles'. And a legion of bombes supported decryption on an industrial scale. So effective was it that on one occasion a message was decoded in less than 15 minutes.

When the war ended, Turing worked on the government Advanced Computing Engine (ACE) project. Before such machines were invented, large scale arithmetical calculations were carried out by teams of specially trained women.

Computers were then quickly applied to complex problems in chemistry and life sciences. At Manchester University, Turing researched the relationship between mathematics and cell growth, beginning a new field he named Morphogenesis. At Oxford, in 1957, Dorothy Hodgkin used Pilot ACE and X-ray crystallography (a technique also fundamental to the discovery of the structure of DNA) to help her to crack the structure of vitamin B12 and was awarded a Nobel Prize.

Turing was condemned for homosexuality in an era when it was illegal. Under constant surveillance as a security risk, he apparently took a bite from a cyanide-laced apple. His death was officially declared suicide, though the exact circumstances remain a mystery.

As a leader in computation--particularly in programming--he deserved better. However, in recent decades he has been recognised as one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century.

June 17, 2012

Information Governance Industry

Has the NHS gone compliance crazy? In a few years information governance has expanded from a toolkit into an industry. NHS trusts are spending more and more on ensuring compliance—a trend accelerated by the large fines being handed out.

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