Highland Marketing welcomes imaging expert to its advisory board

Rizwan Malik, divisional medical director of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and managing director of South Manchester Radiology, joins the expert group that advises the dedicated health tech agency and its clients

Leading radiologist Rizwan Malik has joined Highland Marketing’s advisory board of NHS IT and health tech industry leaders.

The divisional medical director of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and managing director of South Manchester radiology will contribute to the group’s increasingly influential discussions on health tech strategy and hot topics.

He will also be available to advise the dedicated health tech agency and its clients, which range from established providers with enterprise systems that support the NHS in its day-to-day operations to exciting new entrants to the market.

Malik said: “Thanks to its newsletter and its website, Highland Marketing is my prime source of information about the healthcare IT space. So, when I was invited to join the advisory board, it seemed like a great opportunity to get involved with an agency that is helping the NHS and its technology suppliers to chart the way forward.”

Malik joins the advisory board at an important moment for health tech. In the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the health service moved rapidly to reconfigure its systems to support the triage and treatment of Covid-19 patients.

It also rolled out remote working, virtual clinic, and telephone or video consultation technologies. However, there is a growing consensus that health and social care now needs a “second wave” of innovation to consolidate these gains, improve efficiency, and create new, digital services for patients.

Malik said: “Health tech is at an important crossroads. The first lockdown removed some of the barriers that had prevented the NHS adopting technology that was already available to it. Now, as we look ahead to the end of the second lockdown, we need to keep up momentum.

“We need to evaluate the technology that we adopted last year, to make sure it is the right technology, and we are doing the right things with it. And we need to innovate.

“We need to add newer technologies, such as automation and AI to support clinicians, and we need completely new thinking on population health management and creating great services for patients at home. Both the healthcare system and its suppliers need to be asking: how can we go further?”

Malik has a history of innovation in the digital imaging space. Last year, he worked with Qure.ai to apply an AI tool to chest x-rays to support Bolton doctors working with Covid-19 patients.

The project helped doctors to identify deteriorating and improving patients, so they could make better decisions about intensive therapy, and won Highland Marketing’s #HealthTechToShoutAbout award in the Health Tech Awards 2020.

Jeremy Nettle, chair of the Highland Marketing advisory board, said: “The work that Bolton NHS Foundation Trust did with Qure.ai is a great example of the kind of innovation that we want to see in healthcare; not AI ‘for the sake of it’ but to deliver measurable benefits to clinicians and patients that can be replicated to other Radiology departments across the NHS.

“It’s fantastic that Rizwan has agreed to bring his practical experience of working at the front-line of the NHS and health tech to the advisory board, and we are very much looking forward to his contribution and to his experience informing our work and the approach of our clients.”

Malik studied medicine in Cambridge and London before qualifying as a radiologist. He has worked in Bolton since 2006, in a number of increasingly senior roles. Alongside his clinical interests, he has also pursued an interest in health tech.

Malik has also been an advisor to healthcare IT companies and is managing director of South Manchester Radiology, which provides consultancy and clinical advisory services to NHS organisations and suppliers looking to innovate in the imaging and AI space.