Methods Analytics uses data to help public and private sector clients solve complex problems and do good things.

As an official exhibitor for the upcoming Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) conference in September, we caught up with Methods Analytics' Head of Healthcare Sector, Neil Mason to discuss all things data in digital health.

HETT: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Neil. Tell us a bit about the current healthcare landscape, and how your organisation currently supports the health and care sector.

Neil Mason: At Methods Analytics, we support health and care organisations throughout their data journey, from writing strategy and improving data literacy, through to delivering data platforms and embedding new data science approaches. We work across Health and care, from the Dept of health, NHS England, ALBs, ICS’ and providers.

HETT: What are some of the biggest challenges that you have identified when working closely with your NHS/Care partners?

Neil Mason: For the NHS, one of the biggest challenges is staffing, there are not enough staff to accommodate demand. The challenge that follows is how we use technology, particularly data science approaches, to take care of certain tasks and so free up staff time to do the things only people can do, provide patient care. A second challenge that many of our ¬¬partners experience is developing the strategy and capability to utilise the data available to them alongside breaking down the silos that have existed historically. The health and care sector has vast amounts of data available, creating the architecture to enable this data to be analysed and visualised by all who need to see it is a crucial step forward.

As a supplier the biggest challenge is access to people who have the authority and vision to bring commercial entities in. We know healthcare, we do tech. There is so much we can do but there is still a lot of ‘not invented here’ or, well the NHS will do it in-house. Yes the NHS can do a lot in house but not everything and our experience is with tech work it is often (not always!) done very slowly, very expensively, and sadly not very well. So the benefits are not realised.

Methods Analytics will be exhibiting at HETT Show 2022 on 27-28 September. Stand: D34

HETT: Tell us how working with your products and solutions can help tackle some of the challenges that exist within digital health.

Methods Analytics: With our background as an NHS Quality Observatory, we have experience of the needs within health and care. We are technology agnostic, our solutions are rooted in our experience bringing together data and novel techniques such as Data Linkage, AI Natural Language Processing, automation, risk modelling, and automated alerting. We are a multi-disciplinary team incorporating service design, user research, subject matter expertise, and data science. Crucially we have active and past clinicians in the team who are the bridge between NHS clinicians and the technologists, translating problems and issues to create technical solutions and then helping NHS users take advantage of those solutions.

For example, we are working with an ICS developing a linked data strategy. This is partly a technical exercise – what data is where, who owns it, governance, security etc. It is also a vision exercise – if we bring this data together what can we do that deliver benefits to the population, clinicians, and NHS entities?

HETT: We will be hosting HETT Connect again this year, enabling speakers to meet with exhibitors on a 1:1 basis. Who are you hoping to meet? 
Methods Analytics: NHS managers and clinicians who have problems that we may be able to solve. Commonly CIOs, DoFs, CCIOs, MDs, and CEOs but our experience is that interesting conversations can start anywhere.

They can be from any level from NHS England down to a PCN. Explain the problem, it may be a common one such as waiting lists or it may be very local. We might have a way to help.

HETT: As HETT Show approaches (27-28 Sept @ExCeL London), tell us what you are looking forward to the most at HETT Show 2022.

Methods Analytics: Seeing in person many people who I’ve only spoken to remotely over the last 2 years, listening to some new ideas, and building new relationships.

Thank you for your time today, Neil. It’s been a pleasure catching up with you and learning more about how Methods Analytics contributes to the evolution of the healthcare sector. We look forward to seeing you at HETT Show (27th & 28th September, ExCeL London)!
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