Ian Crichton,

Chief Executive of Servelec

to places like housing and public health protection.” To that end, Crichton is ex-

cited about the creation of Public Health Scotland – a new public health organisation, which comes into being in April next year – and will usher in a new era focused around user-centred design, which he believes is critical to the success of projects like the NHS’s putative attempts to create its own National Digital Service electronic health records (EHR) system. As for the potential of AI platforms, Crichton says he’s more concerned with establishing how AI fits into the products the company already has rather than trying to be the next big thing in machine learning. “I’m not sure I believe as much

in AI products as I do in integrat- ing AI into what we do at the mo- ment,” he says. “If you imagine our Rio system, which is pretty sophisticated, instead of just giv- ing doctors the information they need, if it doesn’t look right to Rio and tells the doctor that, then it starts to get quite exciting.”

programme earlier this year, enhancing the offer of its core systems such as Rio Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and Mosaic social care case management solu- tions. In terms of the health mar- ket for its products in Scotland, the company has recently secured a new national contract to deliver the Scottish Child Public Health and Wellbeing System with its market leading solution, Rio.

Servelec has also joined the GP IT Futures Framework in England, signalling an intent to potentially make a move into the primary care space. With his background of having managed the outsourc- ing of GP IT requirements in Scot- land, it is clearly a market Crich- ton knows well, yet he reveals that he would be more interested in building solutions for GPs that are part of a broader ecosystem

of services in future, involving a multi-partner approach. He says: “For me, there’s a

“We’ve got software now which enables not just our own products, but other people’s products, to join up to provide that really rounded picture of the citizen.” Ian Crichton, Chief Executive of Servelec

difference between the public sector, which would be the NHS, local authorities etcetera, and the broader ecosystem e.g. charities, self-service by citizen, and private companies. And how you get that broader ecosystem to work in a different way is, for me, more exciting than trying to fight our way into specific segments. So, I think GP IT is quite specific; it’s a hangover from the 20th century and supports general practitio- ners to do their job but you can see that the family doctor’s job is getting more and more chal- lenging – they’re having to think about how you play in pharma- cists and other professionals. Service delivery will also become increasingly focused on the pre- vention agenda, which takes you

It is this pragmatism which I think makes Crichton’s appoint- ment a sound one for Servelec and his equanimity manifests itself in his response to a similarly provocative question about ditch- ing legacy IT systems and starting over. “Regardless of whether you want to wash away your past in some huge revolution or you gradually want to build your way out, you’re only going to be able to do that with money and invest- ment,” he says. “So, although it sounds boring

I think maintaining legacy is a sensible route to evolving and is probably a lot more compelling for the health system and for the public service infrastructure than something cataclysmically differ- ent. But I do think that If you do get the citizen-centred piece right – and if you can think about how you build off that with next gen- eration technology then you can end up where you start to render the legacy stuff almost obsolete and you can be far more comfort- able decommissioning it.” l AUTUMN 2019 | 17

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