techUK calls for £1bn per year to further NHS digitisation efforts

Tech UK, digital health
“The potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs through better use of technology is enormous and the next Government must address the existing barriers that are hindering digital innovation in our health and social care services,” reveals techUK’s 2017 manifesto

The association is calling for £1bn investment per year in digitising the NHS and a review that would create an Open Data plan

[London, UK] In a new manifesto, techUK is calling for an investment of £1bn per year into digital transformation across the NHS.

Setting out plans for a sustainable digital economy, the technology trade association is arguing that increasing pressures on the healthcare system will require a revolution in ‘productivity and delivery’, with digital technologies underpinning the transformation process:

“The potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs through better use of technology is enormous and the next Government must address the existing barriers that are hindering digital innovation in our health and social care services.”

Therefore, they argue that an investment of £1bn per year could provide ‘more efficient service delivery’, along with recommending that, after the general election, the new Government should conduct a ‘full review’ to develop an Open Data plan that would help businesses use NHS data for ‘technological interventions’.

“Such a plan could include requirements that these interventions are provided at a reduced cost to the NHS as the data supplier before they are exported around the world to other health providers,” they add.

Strengthening cybersecurity defence

This could help healthcare organisations strengthen their cybersecurity defence; last week, services at 61 NHS organisations were disrupted after a ransomware virus infiltrated computer systems across the world, affecting more than 200,000 computer systems in 150 countries.

Speaking at a conference in Liverpool earlier this week, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has said they will invest £10bn over the next five years into improving the NHS infrastructure, along with IT systems, in the wake of the cyber attack, if they win the general election. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have promised in their manifesto to support use of mobile technologies across the healthcare system, encouraging ‘online, phone and Skype’ GP appointments.