Healthcare and digital transformation: The new everyday


The NHS Long Term Plan in 2019 signposted a ‘digital first’ healthcare system for the UK.

But when the nation was forced into self-isolation last year, the NHS had to adapt more than ever before.

Digital transformation projects in 2020 brought changes to health and social care which went further and faster than many people thought possible.

Millions of people had their first ever remote consultation with their GP.

Healthcare providers rolled-out digital tools to record, store and share sensitive information in real-time.


And new Nightingale Hospitals were built at speed, with gold-standard connectivity from day one.

Digital transformation projects can clearly improve the health and social care system for patients and practitioners, saving time and generating resources to re-invest elsewhere.

Which, in turn, boosts the UK Economy.

Here’s how the innovations prompted by dealing with Covid-19 have helped to accelerate the NHS’s journey to becoming truly ‘digital first’.


How healthcare is going ‘digital first’


In healthcare, innovations can soon become normality. With the right support and nurturing, great ideas can get adopted very rapidly.

Bringing immediate benefits to patients, and boosting the economy at the same time.

Many of the ‘digital first’ healthcare ideas which feature in our new report were initiated during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are already becoming the norm.

We recently commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to look at the potentialbenefits to the UK Economy of the continued investment in digitaltransformation projects, similar to what we’ve seen over the last year.

Across the UK, the Cebr estimates that continued investment in digital change projects could increase UK GDP by £232bn, or 6.9%, by 2040.

Simply by continuing to invest in digital infrastructure projects in the health and social care sector we could expect a £33bn boost to UK GDP over the same timeframe - an uplift of approximately 1%.

In this report we look at the benefits associated with this continued investment, including how:

  • Consultations for mental health services in London are now taking place face-to-face online, with better outcomes as a result, helped by the Trust providing ‘digital pods’ so everyone can access the same service, even without the kit at home.

“Now with virtual consultations, the personal cost of having an appointment is so much less. So more people are able to have treatment and to benefit from it.”

  • Speech Therapists can now offer a blend of face-to-face and remote service delivery tailored to suit a patient’s needs.

“In many ways it feels like we’ve pressed the fast forward button...Now everyone will benefit from a positive attitude towards how we use technology.”

  • Clinicians at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London started to use VR so they could see the world through the eyes of their patients.

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“For the first time, we have the ability to walk in our patients’ shoes and learn from their lived experience.”

  • NHS Digital delivered the UK’s biggest ever public sector data network migration, ahead of schedule.

“HSCN now provides organisations with the ideal way to obtain the best connectivity for their staff at the best price.”


The Cebr Methodology

The methodology is centered on producing a cumulative economics delta between a baseline scenario, in which there is no accelerated adoption of digital transformation initiatives, and a scenario in which there is.

The research considered a number of modelling inputs to estimate the productivity impacts of various forms of technology to derive the ‘Post Covid-19 Digital Transformation’ technology uplift coefficient.

This coefficient is then scaled to reflect the proportion of the workforce to whom it applies.

The model also estimates the rate of technological adoption across different sectors and a rate of re-investment.

All of the estimates are rooted in a detailed literature review.


Road to Rebound: What lies ahead for health and social care?


From resilience to rebound - the UK’s health sector was better prepared than others to roll out digital solutions to cope with dramatic shifts in lifestyle prompted by lockdown.

And the NHS was better prepared than their private sector counterparts too.

But what happens next? How are CIOs and healthcare leaders continuing to adapt to the permanent changes we expect to see as a result of Covid-19.

We spoke to technology leaders in the NHS, in social care and in private Healthcare to find out.


Our report explores:

  • How healthcare organisations are investing in digital technology to improve patient outcomes, via access to real-time information.
  • How the pandemic has helped deliver a permanent culture-change, both amongst staff and patients.
  • The importance of security, network capability and mobile working when developing new systems.
  • How the pandemic has boosted the ‘digital first’ capabilities and aspirations of the entire sector.

Seize your new everyday

Get ready for a hybrid working world

Connect your organisation so it’s always on and always ready for change. 

Protect your data even when people are working all over the place. 

Empower your people to do their job wherever they are, whenever it matters, however works best for everyone.