Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, delivers a speech about how technology can make lives better.
During a speech at the Spectator Health Summit, well-known technology enthusiast, Matt Hancock, discussed how technology can improve lives. Since his placement in the role, Matt Hancock has tried to remove out of date technology, such as pagers and fax machines, from the NHS. In his speech, he discussed why he was so determined to continue updating technology in the NHS.
Matt Hancock believes that people are behind every technological advancement. For example, vaccination, IVF and immunisation were all once pioneering technology advancements that have helped to improve and save lives.
Many of these advancements are now taken for granted such as IVF. IVF when first introduced many believed it shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. However, now 8 million children are born every year because of help from IVF. It is advancements like these that bring technology changes that can help to make lives better. As a result, these healthcare advancements come about because someone cares enough to do something that brings change for the better.
Technology and ethics
In the speech, Matt Hancock addresses the ethical questions that come through the use of technology such as robotics, personalised medicines and genomic sequencing. However, just because it raises questions does not mean it should be rejected because of its controversy. Instead, people’s concerns should be listened to. Technology can be humane and compassionate too.
Matt Hancock says; “I believe in the innate and instinctive desire in all of us to care for those we love. And all this new health technology has the same simple quest to do just that: to help care for each other.”
The future of healthcare technology
Matt Hancock discusses the fact that there is game-changing potential through AI and genomics as well as with robotic surgery which is faster, lower error-rate and less invasive. However, Matt Hancock believes that technology can help to get the basics right such as booking a GP appointment online.
The existing technology can help with wearable technology, video consultations and remote monitoring of vulnerable people. As a result, many patients and NHS staff want to embrace technology and now expect it to be present in their treatment.
So, how can the NHS implement technology to improve patients’ lives?
- Use of predictive prevention
This covers how technology can be used to identify those most at risk of developing a disease.
- Driving innovation
The implementation of NHSX will bridge healthcare and technology to enable safe and proven technology to spread throughout the NHS.
Matt Hancock believes that technology matters because people matter and that the best technology can help NHS staff to deliver the best treatment that will make a difference in people’s lives. No robot will provide the empathy that patients needs, but with staff embracing technology, they’ll have more time to deliver a caring service.