The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) were set up by the Department of Health to improve patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice and for developing and implementing integrated health care systems. It is envisaged as many as possible NHS organisations should aspire to be part of the local AHSN, which would act as a gateway for any NHS organisation needing support or help with innovation, and provide industry with focussed points of access to the NHS.
In West Midlands the AHSN has three clinical priorities. These are chronic disease management (in particular diabetes and musculoskeletal disease), mental health and drug safety. There are six enabling themes one of which is Digital Technology. The West Midlands Health Informatics Network will closely work with the local AHSN to promote innovation and where necessary provide expertise on matters related to health informatics and digital technology.