An interview with… Mark Avery

In the first of a regular series of interviews with health-tech experts from across industry, academia, and clinical practice in The New Healthcare Student, Mark Avery gives an insight into his work and career.

Here is part of a fascinating interview:

Following on from that really, what do you think is the next big thing in health informatics? What’s not only exciting but is going to have a significant impact?

Well, there’s probably a couple of sides to that – and to acknowledge the work of others, there is a fantastic King’s Fund paper on this, ‘Eight technologies that will change health and care.’ That paper primarily talks about technologies that have been around or developing for a while but that we haven’t been utilising to anything like the extent possible in healthcare, especially if compared to other industries. I mean, Covid has been a big driver for this in the last 12-months or so, but we are only just starting initiatives to link mobile technologies with other systems such as portable diagnostics at scale! These things have massive potential, but we are lagging behind somewhat.

I also don’t want to get overly technical, but utilising joined up data across care pathways to support things like risk stratification will also be vitally important as we move forward. Those decisions about how we take an entire body of patients and given limited resources, best focus our efforts, will be especially needed in the mental health sphere.

And I guess then you get into the exciting stuff that’s catching the headlines more – machine learning, artificial intelligence, genomics and the potential for personalised medicine. If we take machine learning and AI for example, we have the potential to not only provide support when it comes to clinical decision-making but also to aid the analysis of diagnostics. I’m not necessarily suggesting that these things will be better than a human any time soon, but there is certainly potential to free up human capacity to focus on the things that need human attention most urgently.

Thank you to The New Healthcare Student for letting us publish part of the article which you can read the full interview here.