How can technology improve health system resilience during a pandemic?

The Challenge 

Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK's NHS was faced with unprecedented demand on ICU. With unpredictable surges in critically ill patients threatening to overwhelm individual ICUs, national and local healthcare leaders sought novel technology for managing the most unwell patients.

The Approach

A research partnership was developed with the NHS across multiple intensive care units. The concentrated effort was aimed at scrutinizing and refining critical care operations to bolster health system resilience. 

Engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders encompassed:

The Key Insight 

The immersive review of ICU’s role within the NHS’s response to the pandemic revealed an urgent need for process improvements within hospitals.

Despite being a national health services, UK hospitals and ICUs lacked the ability to communication in real-time, or access predictive analytics. This undermined their collective ability to respond to a pandemic, with outdated technology limiting preparatory actions and real-time response. These factors threatened patient access to care during COVID-19 surges.

The Outcomes


Development of multi-agency information protocol, allowing for data modelling and analysis. This allowed for the development of predictive analytics and dashboards, to support early warning systems and preparatory actions across the UK.


Successful design & launch of a novel communication system to support real-time coordination across ICUs, leading to a balanced and efficient provision of care across geographies with negligible additional HCP and capital spend.


Co-creation of new national healthcare policies, via active engagement with UK policymakers; leaving an enduring footprint on the UK's healthcare landscape.

Client Feedback

It is clear that McKenzie undertakes his work with the aim of generating a positive impact on healthcare, and society more broadly.

Throughout the process McKenzie worked closely with our organisation to ensure the accuracy of his work, while simultaneously disseminating key findings to support our ongoing decision-making, policies, and practices. The output generated has always been of the highest quality.

Despite the challenging conditions of COVID-19, McKenzie's approach was both insightful and optimistic. His presence was a constructive force and his commitment to improving healthcare for patients and healthcare professionals is clear.

— Peter Wilson, Specialised Commissioning Medical Director, NHS England, Oct 12, 2022

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