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How To Drive Tech Innovation Across The NHS

Matt Hancock delivers a speech at The Royal Society of Medicine event ‘Medical apps: mainstreaming innovation.’

As a driver of tech innovation, Matt Hancock is the only MP to have an app available. With this, he hopes to prove the potential of technology, and therefore, the potential of people. So far, Matt Hancock says it is his mission to ensure the NHS has the best technology as he believes it can save lives and make the lives of staff easier too.

Currently, Matt Hancock is in the process of eliminating outdated technology such as pagers and fax machines. One of the reasons to do this is because the lack of coordinating medical records can endanger lives. During his speech, Matt Hancock recalls an incident with one patient who died at just 13 years old. The coroner ruled that a lack of coordinating record was a factor in her death. Her family believe that if her records could have been accessed by all the clinicians treating her, it could have made a difference.

With the right technology that talks to each other, it becomes easier and safer for patients as clinicians will have a clear, comprehensive medical and treatment record for every patient. This is where the NHSX comes into play.

The NHSX is a new unit that brings together tech leaders, NHS England Leaders and NHSI leaders into one team. They can work together to set a national policy and standards to work to drive both healthcare and technology forward.

The three main policies of the NHSX are:

  1. Make sure that technology saves the NHS time
  2. Give patients the tools they need to access tech services
  3. Create a system so that medical records and patient information can be obtained whenever they are required.

The future is apps

One tech area that is growing in the NHS is apps. There are currently 70 NHS apps available such as the NHS App which sees over one million patients book their GP appointments through the app. Furthermore, 3 million repeat prescriptions are reserved online.

Matt Hancock hopes that apps can progress so that the NHS app can invite you for screening after identifying you as at risk based on the medical information and lifestyle data it holds for you. With this, Matt Hancock hopes NHSX will help with driving technology and culture changes so that the NHS can become tech-focused and people-focused.

You can read the speech in full here.

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