NHS Wales Data Science Hackathon 2019

by Will Bridges Data and Analytics Manager

In May 2019, the PwC Wales & West Data and Analytics team participated in the NHS Wales Data Science Hackathon in Cardiff.

The first of its’ kind hackathon was set up by the NHS Wales Modelling Collaborative in partnership with the ONS data science campus. The event brought together programmers, experienced data scientists, analysts, and healthcare professionals from across the NHS Wales community.

Participants were tasked with developing new ideas to drive innovation across the NHS and focus on the questions raised as priority areas by clinicians, managers and decision makers. A synthesised dataset was shared with participants ahead of the event.

The PwC data and analytics group were split across two teams, working with NHS problem owners, analysts and data scientists to help provide valuable context and expertise.

The first team was tasked with delivering a solution to the question: “Why do bed days differ between hospitals and what are the potential areas for improvement?” The team produced an interactive dashboard using Microsoft’s Power BI tool to identify hospitals, GP practices and patient characteristics that contribute towards longer patient bed stays.

The second team were tasked with answering: “How can we improve the accessibility of community pharmacies throughout Wales, ensuring everyone has access at the right time and place?” They developed an optimisation model using Python which honed the location of pharmacies based on population distributions throughout Wales, incorporating data such as distance and drive time. Results were visualised in an interactive Power BI dashboard which allowed users to identify locations where potential improvements to accessibility could be made.

Our team who led the development of the pharmacy optimisation model were crowned winners on the day, with some great feedback from the judges and hackathon participants.

Each team involved on the day showcased some great analysis, demonstrating the vast potential data science can bring to drive efficiencies and better outcomes throughout healthcare and Wales, helping to solve the world's important problems.

“It was nice to listen in on some of the group discussions, in particular the interplay between the problem owners and the analysts. Everyone hopefully came away with a better understanding of the importance of the work in the context of delivering patient care, whilst also learning a bit about the “art of the possible” in relation to advanced analytics.” Gareth John, Information Manager, NHS Wales Informatics Service

Here are some pictures from the day:

NHS Hackathon 2019-1 NHS Hackathon 2019-3
NHS Hackathon 2019-3

If you would like to discuss these issues, or the impact of emerging technology or data and analytics on your industry, then contact our Data & Analytics team.

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