Reform statement: Department of Health and Social Care’s policy paper, ‘The future of healthcare: our vision for digital, data and technology in health and care’

Welcoming the Department of Health and Social Care’s policy paper, ‘The future of healthcare: our vision for digital, data and technology in health and care’, Reform Research Manager, Maisie Borrows said:

“This paper places a welcomed emphasis on getting the basics right in the digital architecture of the NHS. There is a digital divide within the current system. On the one hand, parts of the NHS are innovating and using Artificial Intelligence to improve diagnosis of conditions. On the other, the NHS remains strongly attached to archaic technology, such as fax machines, to share patient information. Building open data standards, secure data storage and interoperability will overcome this divide and mean all patients benefit from a tech-enabled NHS.”

Notes to editors

  1. There are currently still 9000 fax machines still in use across the NHS, according to recent media coverage.
  2. The Reform report ‘Sharing the Benefits: how to use data effectively in the public sector’ considered how to overcome technical and cultural barriers to data sharing in public services. To meet open standards the report recommends enforcing companies that sell into the public sector to adopt open standards, so that they are compatible, encouraging competition and allowing customers to integrate their choices of the most appropriate products from different vendors.
  3. The Department of Health and Social Care’s policy paper can be found here.