22 Jun 2017 Industry experts and health leaders to discuss global cyber attacks at Swansea University event

The Morgan Academy, a research-based think tank based at Swansea University’s School of Management, is holding a one-day conference examining how the digital age can transform the NHS.

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The Morgan Academy, named after the late Rhodri Morgan who was former First Minister of Wales and Swansea University Chancellor, is holding the free digital symposium at the new £450million Bay Campus on Thursday, June 29, to ask what can the health service in Wales learn from industry and can the NHS survive without digital transformation.

Swansea University vice-president and Morgan Academy director Professor Mike Sullivan said: “The Morgan Academy is research-based think tank formed to deal with the grand challenges facing Wales. As well as promoting critical thinking, the academy is working to promote innovative evidence-based policy.

“We want to apply high-quality research to the real world. We held a very successful and productive conference on the impact of Brexit last year and we hope this digital event will produce the same type of “blue sky” thinking and challenge the status quo.”

Professor Sullivan added: “One of the themes of the day will be cyber security, given the recent global cyber attack which affected NHS systems, we hope this debate will challenge the importance of data security within the NHS and the funding gap it faces to ensure its systems are protected.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Andy Williams, Cyber Envoy for the US at the British Embassy, as one of our many keynote speakers. We are delighted to be welcoming someone of his expertise and experience to the Bay Campus.”

Andy Williams, who is originally from Swansea, is an online security expert who was appointed as the first UK cyber envoy to the US in 2015.  His role involves working with UK and US business and government to help UK businesses tackle cyber security challenges.

Other keynote speakers include Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science, Erik Nordkamp, CEO of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, ABMU Health Board Executive Medical Director and Chief Information Officer Professor Hamish Laing, and representatives from firms including Fujitsu, Renishaw, Cisco, Deloittes and PwC.

ABMU’s Professor Hamish Laing said he was pleased to see digital progress in the NHS being featured at the event and that as a health board they are already working towards digital transformation.

He said: “In ABMU we have an ambitious programme to use digital technologies to support our clinical teams to deliver the care their patients need as effectively and safely as possible. By using digital tech we want to transform the experience of and access to health and care in our communities and also empower people to make better lifestyle and wellbeing choices through improved information and advice.”

Professor Laing said the NHS could learn from the digital advances of industry. He added: “We are also looking to digital to improve the efficiency of how we run the “business” of healthcare and to help us deal with the challenges the NHS faces.

“We must learn from other sectors how digital can enable services to be delivered better and at lower cost and, through new technologies such as robotic process automation,  machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, support decision-making at the frontline as well as efficiency in the “back office”.

“Through the ARCH partnership between ABMU, Hywel Dda and Swansea University and the recently signed Swansea Bay City Region city deal we have a fantastic opportunity to create a test-bed for digital health and wellbeing transformation in both rural and urban communities which covers one million people with digital enterprise at its heart.”

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