Emerging technologies

We live an age of amazing technological advance. Predictions of what is just around the corner are many. But what are the implications for health?

See related blog posts about emerging technology.

Emerging Technology includes any technology in development which may have an significant economic or social impact.

In healthcare, emerging technology may include:

  • artificial intelligence to reduce health inequalities
  • wearables to monitor patients remotely
  • algorithms to help make the best decisions for patients
Virtual reality at Gloucester
Two people experimenting with a virtual reality headset

Topol Review

The Topol Review (2019) identified the top 10 digital healthcare technologies likely to have an impact on the healthcare workforce:

  1. Telemedicine
  2. Smartphone apps
  3. Sensors and wearables
  4. Reading the genome
  5. Speech recognition and natural language processing
  6. Virtual and augmented reality
  7. Automated image interpretation using artificial intelligence (AI)
  8. Interventional and rehabilitative robotics
  9. Predicitve analytics using AI
  10. Writing the genome

Read the report.

The review makes clear that the adoption of digital healthcare technologies should be based on evidence, of both clinical and cost-effectiveness, and knowledge of new technologies needs to be spread throughout the NHS.  It asserts that effective knowledge management is essential for a digitally ready NHS. 

CILIP Tech Review

The impact of AI, machine learning, automation and robotics on the information professions: a report for CILIP

This report, written by Dr Andrew Cox, seeks to understand how AI, machine learning, process automation and robotics are either already impacting the daily work of healthcare information professionals or likely to do so in the near future.

Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. How do we ensure that today’s workforce has the skills and understanding they need in order to enable them to support their users?
  2. What are the ethical implications of our approach to these technologies?
  3. What should the skillset of the future workforce look like ?

For more informaiton about the report, see the CILIP website.

How KLS staff can support emerging technologies

  • literature searches to find the evidence
  • spreading best-practice and knowledge of new technologies and their potential impact
  • championing and mobilising knowledge and use of emerging technologies within the organisation
  • training staff in digital, health and information literacy

Sue Lacey-Bryant talks about the the Topol Review and how NHS librarians can advance its agenda.

See the slide deck or watch the webinar, recorded on 15th January 2020.

Contact [email protected] for the slides in an accessible format.

Current and Emerging Technologies KLS Community of Practice

  • keeps an eye on current and possible future developments in technology
  • thinks about their implications for healthcare
  • shares case studies and best practice

The community meets every other month. The CoP has a FutureNHS workspace.  Here you will find slide decks and documentation from events, examples of best practice, and a discussion forum to discuss ideas and promote your practice.

Join FutureNHS and join the community of practice.

Digital and Data: Being the Human Bridge Programme

A programme of events focusing on digital and data awareness and skills development. 

These events, organised by HEE and the Current and Emerging Technology KLS Community of Practice, will be a mixture of inspiration sessions, bite-sized training opportunities and external workshops. 

The themes being covered are listed below.  More details and booking arrangements will be sent via the network lists nearer the date for each event.

September 2022

Can we help you find what you need today?  Digital Assistants and our users - an introduction to chatbots for KLS staff

October 2022

Research Data Management for information professionals  UKeIG course.  HEE will fund places.

November 2022

Artificial intelligence for information professionals UKeIG course.  HEE will fund places.

December 2022

  • Inspiring KLS managers 
  • Gadet show

January 2023

Mobilising Computable Biomdical Knowledge and improving decision making 

February 2023

Continuous Improvement Tracker for CI Projects

March 2023

AI and ethics

April 2023

Library carpentry round-up and manipulating data

May 2023

Inspriring KLS librarians

June 2023

Digital literacy

July 2023

Data visualisation  - Information is Beautiful

August 2023

Libraries connected – coding clubs, makerspaces – library space for digital innovation 

September 2023

Digital Inclusion  - writing a digital strategy, working with other digital professionals 

October 2023

Tech in Healthcare / Supporting patients

November 2023

Inspiring library assistants

December 2023

Research Data Management for information professionals

KLS Technology Update

This is a monthly emailed current awareness bulletin, produced by the HEE Knowledge Management team.  It includes the latest news on current and emerging technologies and their application, and digital readiness.   

Subjects covered include artificial intelligence, intelligent search, machine learning and mobilising computable biomedical knowledge to support effective decisions, digital readiness and inclusion, or data stewardship and the ethics and controversies in this area. It is a monthly current awareness bulletin from the HEE Knowledge Management team.  

To see what's included, see September's KLS Technology Update

Technology Update

HEE's Technology Update is a weekly emailed bulletin also produced by the HEE Knowledge Management team.  It covers health technology more broadly, including themes from the TOPOL review.

To see what's included, see this edition of the Technology Update.

To sign-up, for either update, email [email protected]

Recent KLS developments

Artificial Intelligence in Specialist Search and Knowledge Management

Virtual Reality: its role in healthcare and healthcare libraries - 2019 webinar

Virtual Reality in healthcare and Potential Applications to NHS Library Services - Nick Peres

Case Studies:

Contact [email protected] for the presentation and case studies in an accessible format.

Page last reviewed: 31 August 2022