Moonshots, kind technology and transforming healthcare image

During a recent talk at a digital health and care conference in Glasgow, NDS’s Director (and my new boss) Geoff Huggins asked the room what should be our moonshot? What should be the big, ambitious — even outrageous — goal that we as a team and a community take on as the totem of transforming health and social care in Scotland?

And while Geoff continues to gather and synthesise the input for the overall NDS moonshot, within my own role as the new head of product, I think I have mine, and it goes a little something like this:

What would it be like if every interaction you had with NHS Scotland technology made you felt cared for? 

If you’re a clinician or other kind of health and social care professional, like many front-line public service staff, it is often the case that you suffer the software you need to do your job, rather than it be a seamless part of your work.

If you’re a citizen, when you or a loved one are dealing with some kind of issue or treatment, the less demands that are asked of you from NHS systems, the better. The health condition, the accident, the social care needs can be difficult enough. You don’t then need the additional friction or stress of technology that gets in your way.

So that’s the moonshot that I’m taking on in my work. The NHS is arguably the greatest values-led organisation in the UK (if not the planet), and at its heart are the values of care and compassion. Therefore, as we build out the national digital platform and its associated products, it’s my view that the products we make should be expressions of those values as much as any other part of health and social care services.

The challenge then becomes working out what on earth compassionate or kind technology (as I’m calling it for now) means in practice. My first take is that kind technology…

  • Works;
  • does what you need it to do;
  • is simple and clear to use;
  • respects your time, your attention, and your emotional state;
  • recognises diverse users and usage and;
  • listens to and responds to your feedback 

So as we listen, design, make and improve our products, this central idea of making sure the people who use NDS-made NHS technology feel cared for will be always be in mind. At this stage we don’t know how it will manifest itself but I look forward to walking the path with my moonshot as orientation.

Here at NDS, we feel very fortunate to be standing on the shoulders of so many people and teams who have done amazing work transforming public services in the last ten years. The reason I wanted to take the next step and be part of the NDS adventure is that I believe there is something very special about the NHS and its potential. So, if being at the heart of changing how health and social care are experienced in Scotland excites you as much as it does me, then we are hiring and I’d love to hear from you. There’s lots to do 😊

The specific Edinburgh-based product roles we are currently, or shortly will be, looking for are:

  • product managers
  • service designers
  • user researchers
  • interaction designers
  • content designers &
  • graphic designers

So if that sounds like you, pop me an email at rohan.gunatillake@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Let me know you’re interested and we can send you the job information when the adverts go live.