The year 2020 has undoubtedly provided those in healthcare and technology communities with multiple problems to solve. From enabling telemedicine at scale to creating and distributing an entirely new vaccine, the problems caused by the pandemic have required collaboration, investment and adoption at speed previously unseen in healthcare.
As well as solving the acute problems caused by the vaccine, healthcare organisations are now faced with the challenge of addressing a significant backlog. New NHS England figures show the number of patients waiting to start treatment at the end of October 2020 was 4.44 million and of those, 162,888 were waiting more than a full year. While we were dealing with the immediate issue, a lot of healthcare stopped, but the requirement for it certainly did not. A great deal now needs to be done.
In September 2020, NHSX, the organisation driving the digital transformation of health and social care, announced that 42 tech companies will receive a share of over £50M in phase one of its £140M AI in Health and Care Award.