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The NHS at 70: Microsoft Health’s Dr. Simon Kos comments

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Our latest NHS 70 series takes the pulse, so to speak, of exactly what some of the leading experts in the field of health and technology really feel about the NHS at 70.

As part of the series we were lucky enough to speak with Dr. Simon Kos, Chief Medical Officer at Microsoft (Health). In what is a key executive role, Dr. Kos is responsible for providing clinical guidance, thought leadership, vision and strategy for Microsoft technologies and solutions in the Health and Healthcare industries. Dr. Kos works with industry partners and healthcare organisations around the world to improve and transform health outcomes by leveraging technology and innovation.

Here is what Dr. Simon had to say…

One of the single largest healthcare customers for Microsoft 

“The NHS is one of the single largest healthcare customers for Microsoft worldwide. Operating one of the most complex organisational models, the NHS understandably has a complex IT landscape. We work collaboratively with the NHS to modernise their existing systems and manage the transition to future technologies that will improve health outcomes.”   

Managing chronic disease and keeping people out of hospital 

“The health challenges we face today are not those our health system was designed to combat. Now it’s all about chronic disease, and how we manage that preventively and proactively to keep people well and out of hospital.   

To shift to this kind of health system, I think we need progress in a number of areas. We need a health system that engages and includes the patient, putting them in control, and at the centre of care. We need technology that empowers care providers, maximises their time with patients, and improves their productivity. And finally, we need to improve the ways in which we unlock insights from the vast amount of medical data that we collect, with analytics and artificial intelligence.” 

An open approach to innovation is key to the NHS 

“Technology is no longer a nice to have, it’s actually essential to deliver high quality care. More importantly though is an open approach to innovation. The health system and models of care we have today aren’t those we will need in the future, so flexibility is crucial. If we want to be ready to use technology safely and effectively in practice tomorrow, we need to be evaluating it today.” 

Precision medicine and advances in genomics 

“I see precision medicine, especially the advances in introducing genomics into mainstream care, as the most fundamental shift in practice that will come in the next five years.   

As the cost of genomic sequencing comes down, making a genomics-first diagnostic approach feasible, and as we aggregate that information with an unprecedented amount of other relevant personal health data, we’ll be able to better risk stratify our patient populations to intervene early, and for those who are sick start with the right treatment the first time.”