Innovation & digital transformation in UK's National Health Service (NHS)
Developed as a vital part of the pandemic response in 2021, the test and trace solution illustrates how major policy changes and health requirements can be embedded into patient-centric digital solutions within a short timeframe.
Designed and built with a secure, privacy-first approach, the digital service monitors possible exposure to COVID-19. It is estimated to have prevented up to 600,000 infections and accelerated medical app innovation in the country.
The digital service also brought about a culture change within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) — a ministerial department that aims to lead the nation's health and social care. A way for them to transform into an agile organisation leading public health through digital innovation.
As the delivery partner working with DHSC, Zühlke established a multi-disciplinary working group including policymakers, researchers, designers, engineers, and experts in security, ethics, accessibility and other areas, collaborating closely to launch the app in 12 weeks to serve over 22 million users.
The joint team operated in a highly incremental, agile way. Policy, compliance, user research and design were embedded in the weekly development build cycle. In addition, the use of native cloud services and automation of every aspect of the build, test and deployment process enabled the delivery of this class-1 medical device.
The Zühlke team was named "Development Team of the Year", receiving the UK IT Industry Award 2021 for its delivery of the COVID-19 app.