September 21, 2018

Sensyne welcomes code on data-driven health and care technologies

09 September 2018, 12:31 | Silvia Roy

Matt Hancock has vowed to “bring the NHS into the 21st century” Credit Rui Vieira PA

Matt Hancock has vowed to “bring the NHS into the 21st century”

Patients in the pilot areas - Liverpool, Hastings, Bristol, Staffordshire and South Worcestershire - will be able to download the app from 30 September.

"The NHS is at the same moment the world's biggest opportunity for saving lives through modern technology and the world's most frustrating place to work for its IT", he said in his keynote address.

Speaking at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo, Matt Hancock spoke about the use of technology within the NHS, stating that the organisation's recent £20 billion injection needs to be made the most of if the NHS is to flourish.

Later this year, he will unveil a 10 year plan for the NHS, setting out how a £20bn funding boost will be spent, having already said that technology, development of the NHS workforce and prevention of illness will be his major priorities.

The government has unveiled its ambition for the NHS to become "the most advanced health system in the world" through use of the "best innovations in new technology and artificial intelligence".

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He says hospitals operate on expensive, out-of-date technologies that aren't integrated, forcing staff to waste countless hours trying to work with broken systems, he says.

This ultimately leads to the loss of lives due to patients being given sub-optimal care because systems can't communicate with each other.

Patients in five areas of England will begin a trial of the new NHS app from October.

The funding will support new Global Digital Exemplars in acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts in England to set a gold standard of innovation for other services to follow, Hancock said.

The Secretary of State also announced the creation of the HealthTech Advisory Board, chaired by Dr Ben Goldacre, which will report directly back to him.

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He also reassured anyone who are building their own products that the NHS has no intention in closing off the market, he added: "in fact we want exactly the opposite".

"If we are honest we will admit that the NHS has been slow to grab the many advantages of the digital revolution", he said.

But the technology relies on use of data, and the government and NHS have strong duties to ensure the data is secure and protects patients' rights and identities, so the public has trust in the new technology and the NHS as an organisation.

The health secretary concluded his article by noting that "technology has unleashed huge improvements in the rest of our lives".

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