The “treasure trove" of healthcare data held by the NHS could be worth nearly £10 billion a year through the adoption of personalised medicines and operational savings but the health service must get its data governance in order to realise this value.
So says a new report from Ernst & Young, entitled "Realising the value of healthcare data: a framework for the future", which offers an estimate on the total value of the NHS data set held across primary, secondary, tertiary and social care services.
The study takes into account the 55 million primary care records in the UK, as well as a information detailing health, wellness, illness and the associated care pathways.
EY argues that while the value of the NHS data-set could be as much as £5 billion a year, there could also be £4.6 billion worth of benefits to patients though big data initiatives and operational savings.
However, the report notes that delivering value from this data faces “significant process and technology costs associated with aggregation, cleaning, curating, hosting, analysing and protecting these transformed data-sets".
EY believes that many of these issues could be tackled by using artificial intelligence and analytics platforms to unlock value from data-sets held by NHS organisations.
“Early adoptions of AI within healthcare have been promising," the report states. "Applying AI to the NHS data-set will yield insights that can be used to improve patient outcomes through improved monitoring and better use of medicines.
“AI can help reduce errors, provide better diagnostics and improve demand planning. Ultimately, improved patient health will also have implications for the UK economy and consequent positive impacts on public finances."