Can I first wish you a great 2016! I hope the return to work hasn’t been too much of a shock to the system. Perhaps, console yourself with the happy thought of how slim you’ll soon be with that new gym membership. Ahem.
Moving swiftly on, as they say; when we last spoke before the break , I shared some thoughts on how I saw 2015 as a year in our growth. Well, this time, it’s a bit of crystal ball time: what does this bright young year of 2016 look to hold for us here? Here’s our take.
We’ll See Our NHS Business Continue To Grow
We plan to consolidate and grow our opportunity in the health service, an absolutely vital market to us. We will grow our footprint in key Trusts but also extend our visibility with CCGs and other stakeholders. As we know, collaboration, cross-team and cross-organisation, is the route of travel here as part of both the Five Year Forward View but also the best response to a tough November Spending Review.
We anticipate some of that will extend out of the NHS and into other parts of local government and social care, even the private sector. Contracts that span three or four once very separate organisations will become the norm, I predict, and very soon. Here, the driver is probably not going to be VNA and DICOM so much as efficient workflows. Email is a terrible way for big teams to work together – we all know this. So content collaboration and document sharing will come to the fore, acting as a lubricating mechanism to get better, slicker co-operation going. That’s going to help patients and the NHS, and we are looking forward to seeing as much of it as possible! (What’s great is how our chosen DM/ECM platforms of EMC Documentum and Alfresco dovetail just so well into this kind of work.)
We’ll Help NHS Bodies Save Money
Cash is the problem for the NHS right now, as we all know. The government’s given it a billion to help with technology, but most commentators are saying the service really needs a lot more to meet all its ambitions around the move to paperless. Meanwhile, it’s being asked to find at least £22bn (some say that’s really more like £24bn, considering some got pushed ‘ahead’ in the balance sheet of the 2010-15 efficiency drive) of savings.
Technology has got to be central to that. And we expect to be in the thick of it: not just on the PACS supplement/replacement front, but in lots of things like storage; moving to putting more and more content and documentation in the cloud and off physical storage will save money by definition. We are also going to be making a quiet and very useful contribution helping to rationalise data out of various expensive or legacy silos, as is the case in 90% of Trusts, into more sensible common repository, based on our standards-centric stores.
A Bigger Role For Our Hospital Visual Media Service
And finally, we expect a lot of interest for our recently-enhanced ConXPhoto service, which we rebranded ConXMedia at the end of last year . Trusts always needed to capture and store a lot of photos to help patients and track cases; that need’s never been greater, and now video and medical imagery’s being thrown in the mix too.
As a result, I predict this area will become an important one to us – and also, of course, of genuine practical help to nurses, doctors, radiologists and administrators in the Trusts we work with, all of whom want to safely and efficiently store and manage this data asset.
So – there are my best guesses for the next few months. Will I be proven right? Only one way to find out – let’s shake off the last of the festive merry-making and begin a busy and interesting 2016!
Happy New Year,
Mark Winstone is SynApps’s Joint CEO and Sales & Marketing Director