Continuing our 2019 prediction series which looks ahead at what the key themes of the new year will be, we now turn our attention to health tech suppliers.

Our contributors come from a variety of different roles from within the sector including System C, Nuance and EMIS.

Markus Bolton, joint CEO of System C

“We expect the current sense of momentum to accelerate further.

“The NHS’s digital agenda looks as if it is getting the attention it deserves.

“By the end of 2019, GDEs will have got to HIMSS 6 or 7 and LHCREs should have made a significant impact on record sharing across whole populations.

“Suppliers’ increasing commitment to FHIR standards will also continue apace. Finally, 2019 will be the year that we get a good sense of what population health could deliver for the NHS.”


“In 2019 we expect to see more action from the LHCREs, particularly around interoperability – we should see some necessary steps taken that will lead to wider adoption of standards.

“We should also see NHS and Social Care, at last, beginning to see IT as an integral part of their business that has to be integrated into everything they do.

“Together, they should be addressing how they will fund IT programmes and how the increased adoption of public cloud infrastructures and software as a service fit in to those programmes.”

Distie Profit, Cerner UK general manager

“The way I see it, 2019 should be all about sharing. With ageing populations, workforce shortages, and growing demands and expectations on our health and social care system, collaboratively working becomes fundamental not only to improve care quality and safety, but to make sure clinicians and carers are spending their time where it is most valued: caring for their people.

“‘Sharing’ means sharing technology, data, workflows, best practices, workforce, and so on. In the end, ‘sharing’ is the principle the Global Digital Exemplars programme was founded on, and with the first blueprints being published now, the sharing approach will hopefully only continue to grow.”

Natalie Chishick, policy and communications Director at IMS MAXIMS

“With the 10-year NHS plan expected in the new year, healthtech policy will be framed by this longer-term vision of sustainability, which no doubt will expand the mandate of ICSs, STPs and LHCREs. And with it, more digital decisions being made at a regional level for locality-wide needs.

“However, the day-to-day focus will remain on the practicalities of breaking down information silos across care settings, boosted by an unprecedented level of passion and commitment from the new SoS, and the momentum of INTEROPen.

“It also needs to be a year of evaluation, as digital initiatives such the acute GDEs complete their two-year programmes and the first cohort of Digital Academy students finish their courses.”

Nick Harte, solutions director at Cambio Healthcare Systems

“Interoperability and open standards will again be an important focus, with NHS development partnerships also gaining momentum.

“We’re seeing Global Digital Exemplars especially eager to develop partnerships to drive innovation. Highly interoperable solutions that capture domain expertise and make it available to other trusts via open standards and APIs are hugely appealing.

“There is a shift to tailorable solutions that meet specific needs, such as in mental health, through enterprise level decision support tools.”

Simon Wallace, CCIO Nuance Healthcare International

“Increase in uptake of cloud-based services to drive efficiency, speed new services to patients and which can flex and adapt to clinicians and organisations on the move.

“As a result, more clinical documentation will be created using cloud-based EPRs and so too the deployment and use of speech recognition via the cloud as already being seen at Homerton.

“AI becomes ever more powerful and pervasive such as in our Dragon Medical speech engine for speed and accuracy and freeing clinicians to devote their time to patients not admin.”

Dr Shaun O’Hanlon, EMIS Group chief medical officer

“2019 will see NHS IT start to move to the cloud.

We will see the adoption of interoperable, cloud based platforms to meet the rapidly evolving needs of patients, clinicians and localities delivering integrated care.

“The cloud will enable greater use of real time data analytics and AI technology to augment clinical interactions.  All of this will enable improved quality of care, a more efficient NHS and a much better patient experience by joining up disparate services.”

You can hear more, not just from our contributors but other leading health technology figures, at Digital Health Rewired on March 25-26.

The event, taking place at London Olympia, is a two-day conference and one-day exhibition which connects health IT leaders and professionals with the latest disruptive digital health innovations.

Make sure you have booked your place today.