Tech powered healthcare

A strategic approach to implementing technology in health and care

We have conducted research and spoken to the public, healthcare practitioners and partners to help chart a course for health and care organisations to navigate the opportunities that the digital revolution presents while resetting systems in the aftermath of the pandemic. #TechPoweredHealthcare

Technology has the power to drive a revolution in health and care outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of technological change but much more can be done to deliver truly innovative transformation.

Patients are embracing new technology and increasingly expect care to be supported by it but they, along with staff, need to be further empowered and supported to change the way that they engage with and access care.

"There is no appetite to go back to the way things were before COVID-19. But despite the extraordinary progress over the past few months, there is much more to do. Systems will need to develop new ways of thinking and use new technologies to reconfigure the health ecosystem."

David Morris Health Services Sector Leader, PwC

The story

Where are we now?

COVID-19 has transformed the landscape of health systems across the globe. We watched as the NHS rose up and responded to the crisis – yes, by building hospitals, reconfiguring existing sites and redeploying staff at eye-watering speed; but also by changing the way technology is used to care for patients – changes that had felt years away.

The challenge ahead

In the midst of all this change, some of the greatest barriers to digital care remain: lack of interoperability between systems, ageing and inadequate digital infrastructure, inconsistencies across digital platforms, and the absence of the necessary skills.

Our approach

At PwC we work with the NHS, nationally and locally, as well as the wider care sector to deliver real, workable solutions to today’s challenges. For the last 12 months we have been conducting in depth research into the future of technology in the NHS. We have assessed structural barriers and explored changes that would be required to deliver on the opportunities technology presents for patients and the NHS workforce.

Listening to the public, practitioners and partners

We conducted interviews with senior stakeholders working in various roles in the NHS and in the wider healthcare industry; we held focus groups with an inspiring group of junior doctors; we spoke to non-executive directors from across the NHS; we ran two public polls (either side of the COVID-19 pandemic) and surveyed healthcare technology specialists. 

In response to the challenges that lie ahead for health and care organisations, the learnings from the pandemic and the unstoppable advances in technology that are propelling healthcare into a new era we have shaped our research into a series of four essays. Each essay seeks to address key questions around how culture, money, skills and partnerships can play a role in transforming the system.

NHS junior doctors workshop, January 2020
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Our recommendations

Culture

Culture makes a bigger difference than technology

Successful innovation requires cultural and behavioural change. To make any transformation stick, staff need to feel empowered to adopt and champion new ways of working. To support this change, the cultural values that underpin the NHS and its workers must be understood, and technology must reflect these values and meet the needs of the NHS’s workforce.

Find out more

Money

The NHS needs sustained investment to provide the foundation for a technologically enabled system.

We repeatedly heard calls for the NHS to become a technologically enabled sector. In order to do this it must make investment in the same way as any organisation looking to make technology a differentiator – by making the funds available to create significant, strategically driven change.

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Skills

The NHS needs to urgently invest in large scale digital skills-building programmes.

Technology is already changing what it means to deliver care, and the pace of change is only increasing as the healthcare system grapples with COVID-19. The NHS needs to urgently invest in a large scale digital skills-building programme that provides all of those involved in the patient journey with the skills required to get real value from new technology.

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Partnerships

Healthcare and industry must work together so partnerships can succeed

Partnerships with technology and innovation companies will define digital transformation across healthcare. In a world built increasingly on collaboration, on connections that reach across the globe and into every sphere of our lives, our healthcare institutions should also be connected – with each other and with patients – so that they can share learning, innovation and information.

Find out more

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Contact us

David Morris

David Morris

Health Services Sector Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 784180

Quentin  Cole

Quentin Cole

Leader of Industry for Government and Health Industries, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7770 303846

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