The internet entrepreneur and cross-bench peer Martha Lane-Fox has been tasked with finding ways to help increase the use of digital innovations in the NHS.
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Jeremy Hunt has used part of a wide ranging speech this morning to set out how the government would look to embrace the potential for technology to “shift power to patients”.
Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, the co-founder of the online holiday retailer Lastminute.com and chair of a charity teaching digital skills, has been asked to develop proposals to be presented to the NHS National Information Board by the end of the year.
Speaking at the King’s Fund in London this morning, the health secretary said: “Digital inclusion is as vital in healthcare as everywhere else - not least because some of the greatest impacts of new technology in health [are] with the most vulnerable patients.
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“I have therefore asked Martha Lane-Fox to develop some practical proposals for the NHS National Information Board before the end of the year as to how we can increase take up of new digital innovations in health by those who will benefit from them the most.
Earlier this morning, Baroness Lane-Fox tweeted: “Looking forward to it – massive gains for vulnerable patients and frontline staff I think.”
Speaking about the potential for digital technology to transform the way the health service cares for patients, Mr Hunt added: “Within the next five years our electronic health records will be available seamlessly in every care setting.
“You will be able to access them, share them, mark preferences, and shape the care that you want around them.
“We will be decoding individual genomes, allowing us to target personalised medicines, improve diagnosis and therapy, and reduce waste.
“New medical devices will mean an ambulance arrives to pick us up not after a heart attack but before it - as they receive a signal sent from a mobile phone.”
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