Tag Archives: Topol Review

AI For Healthcare: Equipping the Workforce for Digital Transformation

AI For Healthcare was a course created by Health Education England and the University of Manchester, to provide a general overview of AI and how it can and is being used in the health sector. Anyone could access this course for a limited amount of time, although it was designed for healthcare workers in mind.

As someone who’s really interested in AI and machine learning (and a big fan of the Topol Review), I took the plunge and had a go. The course was incredibly useful, providing a great introduction to AI. It showed working examples of how it could be utilised, and the pros and cons of implementing new technologies.

Discussion was actively encouraged, and I chatted with wide variety of people working within the healthcare sector. There was the occasional quiz, but mostly people benefited from the rich conversations taking place in the comments sections.

The course was split into five weeks:

  • Week 1: Motivating AI in Healthcare
  • Week 2: What is Artificial Intelligence
  • Week 3: Data in Healthcare
  • Week 4: Making it Work
  • Week 5: Supporting and Skilling the Workforce

The first week was a brief introduction to the course, and looked at the opportunities and challenges of working within the health sector; using technologies to assist with healthcare in an increasingly demanding setting.  It was also an opportunity to introduce ourselves within the discussion, and how we believe our roles could utilise AI in the future. I mentioned monitoring library usage (seeing what resources/topics are popular) and targeted promotion, making resources more accessible and findable for users, more relevant current awareness updates and taking the edge out of literature searching.

We focused on ethical and social aspects of AI and machine learning, generating interesting discussion around if we would be comfortable with being provided personal information and news regarding our health by AI, and whether AI should be used by healthcare professionals to inform decision making. There was also debate on whether AI could essentially ‘replace’ certain services, such as GPs. The general consensus was that as the technology is designed to support, rather than replace services, that it is not capable or desirable for technology to replace human roles.

Further down the line, we looked at cases of AI in action with regards to identifying cancer in breast images. This was particularly topical as it had been recently reported in the news.

There was also an introduction to ‘team science’ theory, creating interdisciplinary teams to work together on projects. Experts from all kinds of different fields and backgrounds will be required for the development of AI in healthcare. Having a diverse range of professionals with different backgrounds, expertise and insights would be highly beneficial, both to reduce bias in software and to create something which can be used by a wide variety of people. I was keen to point out that LKS workers have great skills around Knowledge Management, accessibility and user-centred design, and that having LKS staff embedded into multidisciplinary teams would be an excellent use of our expertise.

We also looked at the challenges of AI; its implementation, management, and the need to educate and train staff on how to use it effectively. I believe this in particular is a golden opportunity for LKS staff; to educate, train, and advocate for the user, enabling them access to quality technology and providing them a safe space to learn and develop new skills.

All in all, the course was an excellent introduction. Being able to network with healthcare professionals was also very useful, as I was able to gage their thoughts and feelings about AI. The course tutors and mentors were fantastic, contributing to discussion and encouraging people to think outside the box. It was heartening also to see the support and interest from others in the roles of LKS staff, and how AI can be a useful tool in our libraries.

Below is a list of some resources which were recommended by the course:

 

Hannah Wood
Librarian
Weston Area Health Library
hannah.wood8@nhs.net

Topol – a fantastic opportunity for library and knowledge services

The Topol Review, formally “Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future” will be launched by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care this afternoon. It is threaded through with references to knowledge management and the role of knowledge specialists to “accelerate the adoption of proven innovations”. https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/topol-review

Every time the report mentions knowledge specialists – it means us!

Look at pages 11, 15, 16, 20, 49, 50, 57, 68 and 70 to see what I mean.

Here’s a few gems:

  • “NHS Boards should take responsibility for effective knowledge management to enable staff to learn from experience (both successes and failures) and accelerate the adoption of proven innovations” Page16.
  • The NHS should increase the overall numbers of clinicians, as well as scientists, technologist and knowledge specialist posts, with dedicated, accredited time to keep their skills up to date and with the opportunity to work in partnership with academia and/or the health tech industry on the design, implementation and use of digital, AI and robotics technologies (AIR5/DM4). Page 57.
  • “Effective knowledge management is essential to enable the spread and adoption of innovation, with lessons from early adoption shared widely (OD6): an innovation culture is dependent on a learning culture. The NHS must build a reputation as a learning organisation that values and enables the transfer of learning about successes and failures (OD5). This can only happen with the creation of new senior knowledge management roles.” Page 68.

So, make sure you’ve got a copy of the report to hand and that you’ve read it cover to cover.

Then make sure you’ve shared it far and wide in your organisation: remember, Topol is not about the technology, it’s about the impact of the technology on the workforce. That means it’s important for human resources, organisational development, knowledge management, information technology, all the clinicians and crucially your Board and Executive.

Let’s make sure everyone has heard about Topol, has read Topol and is talking Topol.

Twitter:  #TopolReview

David Stewart

Regional Director of Health Library and Knowledge Services North
Health Education England