The path from HSCN to Internet First

UKAuthority

Some eyebrows have been raised with the indication that the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), although still not fully bedded in, has a limited shelf life.

The issue took on a higher profile a couple of weeks ago when Health Secretary Matt Hancock highlighted the issue in a speech to the King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress. It came with NHS Digital’s publication of guidance on the move to an ‘Internet First’ approach to connectivity that points towards the public internet rather than HSCN being the default approach – at least in the long term.

It adds that HSCN has been designed from the outset to support the transition from public to private networking, and prompted thoughts that health and social care organisations should begin to look at secure public internet connections sooner rather than later.

This reflects the Government’s broader guidance that public sector organisations can begin to use public internet services, which now have appropriate levels of security, rather than relying on the Public Services Network (PSN) or HSCN. But it has also raised some voices with the message that there is no reason to hurry, and the immediate focus should remain on the HSCN.

Immediate demands

Innopsis, the trade association for IT suppliers for the public sector that has been pushing the cause of the HSCN since its inception, is indicating that the principle of Internet First does not necessarily reflect the immediate demands.

Its managing director Mike Thomas says: “In common with all public sector bodies there is a general acceptance of wanting to move towards an internet approach, and for quite valid reasons.

“There are whole sections of the public sector that could be served by public facing internet applications with adequate security and resilience. We fully endorse that view, but it needs to be done in an organised way.

“The major issue at the moment is that most of the applications that the NHS and most of the public sector want to access are not internet facing and cannot be without an enormous amount of development work.”

Vodafone UK claims 5G could be the end game

Mobile World Live

The 5G era could mean the industry will never need another generation, Vodafone UK’s head of mobile networks argued, but only if operators remain faithful to how the technology has been conceived and avoid short-cuts when introducing it.

Speaking at a briefing on the future of networks held Vodafone’s Newbury HQ, Andrea Dona pointed to studies which suggest 5G could be the ultimate mobile technology, if “we get it right”.

He explained the industry had been “monolithic” with 2G, 3G and 4G, but 5G was more open and, from a standards perspective, designed “ to accept all the existing different technologies”, including small cells and Wi-Fi, making it more future-proof.

“We are at the forefront of technology, the cutting edge of technology and we don’t quite know, but if you look at the theory, you could argue that actually it could be the last G.”

“It does, however, depend on how we adhere to the logic of how it has been engineered.”

Dona proceeded to hail the UK’s approach to be a first mover in Europe, as an example of how 5G could be a long-term solution.

“To go first on 5G in Europe and really be at the forefront, we can learn first and be the ones shaping it,” he said.

Councils to publish deals done with developers

Local Gov

The 5G era could mean the industry will never need another generation, Vodafone UK’s head of mobile networks argued, but only if operators remain faithful to how the technology has been conceived and avoid short-cuts when introducing it.

Speaking at a briefing on the future of networks held Vodafone’s Newbury HQ, Andrea Dona pointed to studies which suggest 5G could be the ultimate mobile technology, if “we get it right”.

He explained the industry had been “monolithic” with 2G, 3G and 4G, but 5G was more open and, from a standards perspective, designed “ to accept all the existing different technologies”, including small cells and Wi-Fi, making it more future-proof.

“We are at the forefront of technology, the cutting edge of technology and we don’t quite know, but if you look at the theory, you could argue that actually it could be the last G.”

“It does, however, depend on how we adhere to the logic of how it has been engineered.”

Dona proceeded to hail the UK’s approach to be a first mover in Europe, as an example of how 5G could be a long-term solution.

“To go first on 5G in Europe and really be at the forefront, we can learn first and be the ones shaping it,” he said.

New code of practice to limit road works disruption

BBC

New rules are being introduced in a bid to limit disruption from road works caused by utility firms.

In future, trenches dug in roads and pavements will have to be narrower – and then filled in quicker.

The Scottish government is bringing in a new code of practice to reflect modern ways of working and the fact that many underground cables are now more compact.

Ministers say it will help speed up the delivery of ultra-fast broadband.

It will also mean shorter periods of disruption for power, water and gas works which use these this technique.

Hospital trusts call for more national IT procurement

UK Authority

, would reverse government policy of nearly a decade under which individual NHS trusts have largely taken responsibility for their IT. This was introduced by the coalition government of 2010-15 in response to the failings of the highly-centralised National Programme for IT (NPfIT) of the previous Labour government.

The report said that interviewees saw some value in returning to centralised procurement, particularly for Microsoft licences, and noted that 2016’s review of NHS IT by Dr Robert Wachter warned that it was important not to “overlearn the lessons of NPfIT… centralisation sometimes makes sense, particularly in the context of a national health system”.

5G to broaden application fields for big data technology

CGTN

The combination of 5G and big data is being highlighted at the ongoing China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019 in Guiyang City, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, displaying a wide range of big data applications and technologies.

5G technology possesses characteristics of high bandwidth, low latency and strong compatibility, which can help ease and save people’s lives.

For instance, a bus safety warning system under the coverage of a 5G network can monitor the status of the driver in real time. If the driver dozes off, or answers the phone unsafely, the system can issue an alert. In addition, passengers will be able to pay for their travel through a facial recognition payment system.

“We can upload the passenger’s picture to the cloud platform in real time, and make a comparison (on the big data platform), then payment can be done if the information matches. The delay of the process is only 10 milliseconds, which cannot be achieved by a 4G network,” said Zhang Jirong, an exhibitor.

Are Startups Missing A Trick By Neglecting The Public Sector?

Forbes

Despite being a venture capitalist who makes a living out of deploying capital into fast-growing tech companies, I always tell the entrepreneurs I work with that the best funding they can get is through sales. Sales provide cash flow, verification, ability to navigate product life cycles and instill confidence. Entrepreneurs mustn’t lose sight of this and should explore all possible channels in their quest to generate the sales they need to build sustainable growth. In this respect, the public sector may offer one of the biggest opportunities of all.

Just like businesses, governments are navigating the daunting task of digitalizing their services for a rapidly changing world. And yet few businesses could claim their task is as big or complex as that facing the public sector, with its diverse and critical services that reach millions, or even billions, of people.

From the digital updates that are desperately needed now, to customer-centric platforms to ease pressure on stretched resources, not to mention the solutions that we don’t even know we need yet, the scope of the challenge is mind-boggling. Governments are tackling huge, complex problems around issues such as compliance, tax-evasion, migration, terrorism, cybersecurity, aging population, health—the list goes on. Technology has a pivotal role to play in solving all of them.

University of Surrey deploys blockchain and AI-powered ARCHANGEL for securing national archives

Government Computing

The University of Surrey said that it has deployed a decentralised computer vision and blockchain-based system, called ARCHANGEL, to secure the digital government records of national archives in the UK, Australia, the US and other countries.

The system, based on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), has been developed by the university through its Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) department alongside the Open Data Institute (ODI) and the National Archives in the UK for the protection of the long-term future of digital video archives.

According to the university, the blockchain of ARCHANGEL functions as a database maintained by multiple archives, enabling everyone to check and add records, but prevents the added data from being changed. With no modification of data possible, the integrity of the historical record is maintained, said the University of Surrey.

NHS WiFi now available to millions of patients

NHS-Digital

Free NHS WiFi is now available in 6,749 GP practices and 212 acute, mental health and community NHS Trusts across England, benefitting millions of patients.

95% of GP practices and 98% of NHS trusts are already connected with the remaining four trusts and ten CCGs all underway with their own procurements and set to be live this year. NHS Digital exceeded its target to have 95% coverage, by 31 March 2019, in GP practices and NHS trusts.

Having access to free NHS WiFi is offering a range of possibilities for staff and patients, from staying connected to friends and family using messaging services; to empowering patients to monitor and look after their own health better using digital health services; to keeping injured children entertained in A&E.