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NHS Digital has announced that a new technology innovation centre will open at Great Ormond Street Hospital with the aim of transforming the use of technology in healthcare.Called DRIVE – Digital, Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments, the unit is the first of its kind in the world and will be the launchpad for concepts which can be ‘scaled-up’ within delivery programs or within regional and local technology programmes across the system.The first three areas of focus for the partnership will look at the use of commodity integrated-communication technologies to drive collaboration across the system, how best to gain from the explosion in ML, NLP and other AI technologies, and exploring the use of commodity cloud data management and hosting services from hyper-cloud providers.Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital, who will sit on the DRIVE strategy steering group, said: “We are incredibly excited about the potential for this new partnership with the DRIVE team at GOSH. Bringing clinicians, academics, world-leading technology companies and our own technicians together into a single physical environment will allow collaboration and innovation at pace.“The NHS needs a dramatic acceleration in digitisation in order to be able to deliver to its full potential. There is much opportunity in leveraging proven commodity technologies, with little customisation, to address key digitisation challenges and I am certain that when we bring those who understand the need together with those who have already designed and delivered applicable technologies, we will be able to create new fast lanes in our digital programs.”The physical and conceptual unit is the result of a unique partnership between us, Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London and leading industry experts in technology, artificial intelligence and digital innovation.Through DRIVE, the whole of Great Ormond Street Hospital has been recreated in a Minecraft world where patients are able to virtually explore before they visit the hospital and virtually meet and befriend other patients who are at the hospital to help improve their patient experience.
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