The Secretary of State says that technology will be the key to increasing healthy life expectancy, reducing costs and personalising treatments in the future. However, clinicians will be required to help develop the technology and the Government is now consulting on its ‘tech plan’.
In his address to the Nuffield Trust Annual Summit, the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, said that technology will be crucial to meeting the increasing demand on the NHS. He argued that the NHS must be free to innovate, but technological change will need to come from the frontline – developed in partnership with clinicians, rather than imposed from the top-down.
Nye Bevan famously stated that “expectation will always exceed capacity”. However, Hancock argued that advances in technology will mean that “the service does not always have to ‘appear to be inadequate’, for patients or staff”.
“Today’s technology – unlike previous technological advances – allow us to do more in healthcare at lower cost,” commented Hancock. “I don’t think that’s ever been true before in the history of the NHS. There have been amazing advances like heart transplants and chemotherapy that have allowed us, at greater cost, to save more lives. These are good technologies, but the power of modern technology allows us to improve outcomes and cut costs. Radiology in the cloud is cheaper and faster than a system based on couriers and CD-ROMs for example.”
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