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Cancelled – Data and the end of the medical professional as we know it

June 8 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Has current medical practice run its course? Will docs be replaced by bots? Let’s explore these challenges in health and social care data.

Health and social care are data-intensive industries. The best medical practice should be based on up-to-date evidence to inform policy and intervention and allow treatments to be tailored to each individuals. Health and social care systems need data to monitor whole programmes to identify and address unacceptable variations in access, practise and outcomes. Health care providers need data to ensure systems are efficient and value for money, while researchers and industry need data to answer questions and create new solutions and products to benefit society.

Despite this vast need – data in health and social care is hard to collect, “noisy” and very complex, difficult to analyse and interpret. Complex, often life-changing decisions are taken with patchy information; systems are designed and measured on partial incomplete evidence, policies implemented in a data vacuum. Even where high-quality and linked is available – the volume and complexity of analysis and interpretation often now exceeds human skills.

This lecture will explore these challenges in health and social care and ask whether we are about to reach the end-of-the-line for current medical practice and enter a world where the docs will be replaced by bots.

Jem Rashbass, Executive Director

Disease Registration and Master Data Registers at NHS Digital

Jem Rashbass studied medicine at University College London, was a graduate student of Professor Sir John Gurdon in Cambridge, then trained in diagnostic pathology. He has worked on large-scale healthcare data systems for the last 25 years in a variety of different settings – first as an academic, then through national policy and within the health service.

Over the last 15 years he has championed and led the development and expansion of the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service in England to become the world’s largest and most sophisticated cancer data collection service; created a single National Rare Disease and Congenital Anomalies Registration Service for England and modernized the data collection of the National Drug and Treatment Monitoring Service. He is now both the Executive Director for Disease Registers in NHS Digital and National Director for Disease Registration and Cancer Analysis in Public Health England.

Jem was the founder of Clinical and Biomedical Computing Ltd., which developed the online service “Medicines Complete” for the Pharmaceutical Press; this included the British National Formulary, Martindale Drug Reference and Merck Index. In 2011 he launched a social enterprise, Health Data Insight C.I.C. to act as an ethical information intermediary for health data; in 2018 HDI released the first version of the Simulacrum – a synthetic dataset that mirrors some of the National Cancer Registry data in PHE.

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service won the UK Civil Service Award in 2016 for Best use of Evidence and Data; Jem was named a Top Innovator by the Health Service Journal in 2014 and in 2019 received the inaugural Impact Excellence Award from the National Cancer Research Institute for his contribution to the breast cancer prognostication tool Predict.

Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening and thought provoking lecture.

3:30pm Tea and Coffee

4:00pm Annual Lecture

5:00pm Drinks reception


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