Five healthcare groups in Manchester have linked arms with Japanese technology giant Hitachi to develop IT designed to manage and improve patient care and population health.

The NHS in Greater Manchester, the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and North West e-Health (a joint-venture between the University of Manchester, Salford Royal NHS Trust and NHS Salford), have signed a memorandum of understanding with Hitachi, Hitachi Consulting and Eagle Matrix Consulting to work together on informatics technology projects which, it is hoped, will be of significant benefit to the local health service.

Specific details of the arrangement have not been released, but it was noted that the parties involved will put their heads together over the next year to design detailed technology and service applications tailored towards the Greater Manchester population. 

"We are looking at technology as a facilitator of change, where the holistic integration of public and private health data will create an open service and technology ecosystem that enables innovation for the better management of our health providing much needed focus on the new social paradigm of personalised health," said Yoshito Date, chief executive of Eagle Matrix Consulting.

"By utilising the wealth of our data more efficiently in combination with appropriate technology we can improve our service delivery and public health support”, added Mike Burrows, chief executive of NHS Manchester.

The discussions between Hitachi and the NHS in Manchester have been supported by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Department of Health. Mark Treherne, chief executive of UKTI’s Life Science Investment Organisation, said the UK “has a huge amount to offer in health innovation specifically within the health informatics space". 

"The NHS with 60+ million patients has access to unrivalled, clinically coded, granular health data, providing a unique opportunity to test innovative approaches to health informatics in order to meet end patient benefit," he noted.