The Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW) team have been busy recently with not one, but two events on 11th November.
The morning consisted of a two-hour technical deep dive into the next DHEW API, Welsh Care Record, before moving in to the afternoon event looking at Welsh Government's Digital Transformation Programme.
DHEW’s API team delivered a technical deep dive workshop into their next API, Welsh Care Record. The workshop had 40 attendees – developers and informatics specialists from industry and NHS. We went through the API, showing the architecture and infrastructure behind the brand new API portal. The audience were also able to hear about the latest standards used by the API team that reduces the burden of documentation as well as allowing interoperability and adaptability. Dafydd Loughran from Concentric Health demonstrated how the Welsh Care Record API was improving the functionality of their consent platform. The event finished with a team from BJSS talking the audience through their recent API development with the GP IT Futures Framework and NHS App, talking us through some key lessons learned in developing APIs in an agile way working with the public sector. More information about our API portal and future developments will be available here: https://digitalhealth.wales/developer-portal
With a quick turn around the team turned their focus to the next event of the day which looked at the Welsh Government’s Digital Transformation Programme. The afternoon was led by Ifan Evans, Welsh Government’s Director of Technology, Digital & Transformation for Health and Care and was attended by almost 100 people. Ifan walked the audience through the recently announced Programme, including the focus on open architecture and platforms, the recent digital architecture review, development of the NHS Wales Informatics Service into a Special Health Authority and intention for development of commonly agreed standards.
Ifan went on to explain the focus of the Digital Architecture Review, which was to assess the extent to which the current Digital Architecture of NHS Wales is ready to meet the ambition set out in ‘A Healthier Wales’, and whether it is scalable to support digital transformation across Welsh health and social care. The review involved technical reviews with NWIS and workshops and interviews with over 100 key stakeholders from NWIS, all Health Boards, and the universities, augmented by three “deep dives” at Aneurin Bevan and Cwm Taf Heath Boards, and Public Health Wales Trust.
There were three major conclusions drawn as a result of the review:
- Current state – there needs to be a more standardised and collective whole system approach across Welsh health and social care
- Opportunity – in the last two years there has been a recognition that traditional approaches to digital technology in health and social care are no longer fit for purpose. The technology vision in ‘A Healthier Wales’ aligns with this global thinking and is achievable
- Approach – there needs to be a twin track approach so that resilience and innovation proceed in tandem
NHS Wales’ digital ambition is to be patient and service use focussed, agile, to enable innovation and a world class national resilience, reliability and performance. The target architecture for NHS Wales will feature multiple components including:
- Digital channels – interaction with customers, citizens and patients through digital media
- Digital systems – components that support digital applications/digital customer interactions with the services
- Platforms and infrastructure – core network and storage infrastructure to support digital enablement of the platform components
- Security and identity – components that support the identification of users, protect their information and ensure appropriate access
There was an excellent mixture of NHS, industry and academia in the room which allowed for engaging and thought-provoking discussions to happen throughout the session. As a result of the afternoon event all attendees were able to get a better understanding of the reviews that have happened, the plans put in place and the Welsh Government and NHS Wales’ ambition for a future health and social care service which will see the current complex digital landscape evolve into an agile one.