2020 has made most of us think about our healthcare providers differently. For 10 consecutive weeks, we Brits stood on our doorsteps to applaud those doctors, nurses, carers and all other ‘frontline’ key workers. Without the heroic efforts of our NHS, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would have been immeasurably worse.
But the health and medical sector is experiencing a revolution. Just as we’ve witnessed in finance, manufacturing and recruitment, digital disruption is here to improve healthcare. And as the industry continues to explore the benefits of technology, this creates a wealth of new roles.
In order for the medical and healthcare sectors continue to fully embrace new technologies, those with experience working with data and artificial intelligence will become ever-more important – especially if they also have experience in pharmaceuticals, quality control and compliance. So, which tech roles are needed in the health and medical sectors?
Software Engineer and Data Scientist
90 per cent of the world’s data was created in the last two years alone. The mind-boggling amount of data we create and consume each second is incredibly valuable to the medical and healthcare sectors, but it creates its own challenges too.
Making sense of vast volumes of disorganised data, comprised of text, images, audio and visual is no mean feat. With every wearable device which helps to determine an individual’s health, there necessitates a system which can decode the information collected. And it’s not just the increase in gadgets, either, these days even the most basic medical devices require software to power them.
Despite the clear advantages and opportunities software offers to the medical industry, it is also the leading cause of device recalls and failures. There is a lot of work still to be done in the field, and many exciting opportunities for candidates eager to work in a life-changing industry.
Yes, quality manager is already an established role within the realm of medical and healthcare, but the skills demanded in this role are changing. Quality managers in these industries will need to ensure the smooth operation of their business’ medical devices and how to utilise data for maximum output.
The ISO describes safety and quality as ‘non-negotiable’ when it comes to medical devices. It will fall to quality managers to stay up to date with the constant innovation in the sector, always ensuring that new technologies are safe and secure.
This means battling on new fronts, taking on cybercriminals who will target medical data centres. Research shows that one in four UK cyberattacks was related to COVID-19, while the FBI has warned US hospitals that they under imminent threat. Quality managers will be partly responsible for securing devices against cybersecurity risk.
Healthcare is the original people-first industry, and so stakeholders – investors, employers, employees and patients – expect that technological change will come about quickly and will be for their benefit. Technology can lead to better diagnosis, treatment and care, but this requires investment, buy-in and commitment. Winning over decision makers, particularly within legacy organisations, can be a tricky task – which is where talented Project Managers come in.
These individuals will lay the ground for, and oversee the implementation of, digital change and may come from an Agile or DevOps background. They will understand the impact technology can have and will be excellent collaborators, able to consider a wide range of viewpoints.
In the past we have tended to think of technology as separate from core healthcare and medical industries – as ‘healthtech’ or ‘medtech’. But as the prevalence of technology continues to increase, we will witness a coming together – one which will change the face of healthcare.