19: Digital on the Frontline


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When Dr David Howie started his new role as Chief Commercial Officer at NHSX in February this year he didn’t expect it to be entirely dominated by COVID – then, a word only just entering our vocabulary. Yet the rest is history, as they say. NHSX is the technology enablement arm of the England’s National Health Service (NHS), which is driving the digital transformation of health and social care. NHSX is leading the largest digital health and social care transformation program in the world, with a national annual investment of over £1bn as well as significant local spend.

Ten months on from that pivotal first day in the NHSX office, Dr Howie joins host, Steve Hall, on the Imagine Your Future podcast. Together they discuss the evolution of the UK’s COVID Track and Trace app as well as the role that NHSX will play in the future in helping improve support for vulnerable and isolated groups, such as those living in care settings. The use of digital technologies to improve patient and clinician experience has made huge advances in the NHS as a result of the pandemic. It marks an accelerated digital transformation in the NHS that Dr Howie believes would never have happened so rapidly without the need to respond to the pandemic.

Listen in to our first Imagine your Future podcast episode of 2021 as Dr Howie describes his Digital career journey, first with the UK Home Office where he led the digital overhaul of the passport renewal process, followed by development of the app to support the settlement of EU citizens living in the UK in the run up to Brexit. Clearly no stranger to handling complexity in high-stress situations Dr Howie’s insights into digital transformation, gained from his recent UK public sector career, makes fascinating listening.

20 episodes