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

Non-urgent advice: 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. 

Important: 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.

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.

Emerging Technologies Group

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

The group meets every other month.  The chair is Richard Bridgen.  If you would like to join the group, email Richard.

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: 3 February 2022