We explore healthcare power protection and ask whether a dose of data is the NHS’s perfect prescription.
The National Health Service turns 70 this summer. However, the institution has never faced such demands and pressures. A growing – and ageing – population. People living with chronic conditions needing expensive ongoing treatment.
As it stands, even though the health budget already tops £120 billion a year, resource is scarce. The NHS treats a million patients every 36 hours, and that demand is growing.
Our General Manager Leo Craig explains to Data Centre News (DCN) magazine how the shift to big data, robotics, and artificial intelligence has the potential to transform medical services.
As it happens, Prime Minister Theresa May is already onboard. In May, she pledged funding worth millions of pounds to AI that she believes will prevent 22,000 cancer deaths by 2033.
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Across several areas of medicine, data and sensors are playing an influential role. Automation is slashing non-essential paperwork for trainee doctors and nurses. Virtual assistants take on tasks like booking appointments. With people wearing more and more connected devices, sensors are exchanging essential data. This information aids in disease management, triggering reminders for patients to take vital medication.
And of course, there’s also the small matter of storing millions of patients’ medical records. Notoriously slow to technological change, Leo reminds readers of last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack on NHS trusts. But NHS Digital is upgrading to a new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) with the aim of encouraging improved information sharing between health bodies.
Understandably, this increased reliance on data heightens demands on storage capacity and resilience. Leo outlines the crucial role an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) already plays in medical environments. Clean, continuous power is essential in operating theatres or pharmaceutical labs.
But he goes on to predict UPSs will play an even more important role in the data-driven years to come. He claims modular UPS, which deliver high density, efficient power in a compact footprint, are an excellent option for healthcare power protection.
However, he warns of the importance of designing UPS systems with the necessary redundancy, security, and network compliance to cope with the sensitive, mission-critical nature of NHS data.
Read Leo’s full piece about healthcare power protection in June’s Data Centre News magazine