NHS staff will be trained to put technology at the heart of the health service

Minister says workforce will receive training to realise the full potential of AI and digital tech
Nurse using iPad

Minister says workforce will receive training to realise the full potential of AI and digital tech

All NHS staff – including nurses – will receive training to ensure digital technology will be at the forefront of NHS care in the future, a health minister has said.

Under-secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) and peer Lord O’Shaughnessy outlined his vision for the healthcare of the future during NHS Expo in Manchester today.

He said a person’s healthcare records could be stored on their smartphone, technology would monitor them overnight to pick up on signs of illness, and then arrange a GP visit if necessary.

More can be done

The GP would then be able to 3D print medication, and devices would monitor the medication’s effect and feedback to an algorithm to ensure the right medication is always prescribed first time.

Lord O’Shaughnessy said digital innovation and artificial intelligence (AI) were already being used in the NHS, but more could be done.

‘The opportunity for the NHS in its 70th year is to turn exceptional treatment into the norm.

‘One of the ways we will do this is by implementing the vision set out in the Topol review, so all NHS staff have the technology skills and knowledge to take advantage of the innovation at hand.’

The Topol review was commissioned by the English government to explore implementing digital innovation into practice.

Technology partnerships

Lord O'Shaughnessy also announced a Technology Partnerships Code of Conduct, with the aim of ensuring the NHS gets a good price on the best emerging technology.

The code is a set of ten rules of engagement for the AI industry and the health and care system.

The DH said the code will make it easier for suppliers to develop technologies to tackle issues such as dementia, obesity and cancer – and help healthcare and care providers choose safe, effective, secure technology to improve the services they provide.

First step

Lord O’Shaughnessy added: ‘This is an important first step towards creating a safe and trusted environment in which innovation can flourish to the benefit of all our health.’

NHS Expo runs for two days and the programme has a heavy focus on partnership working and digital technology.

England’s chief nursing officer Jane Cummings will speak tomorrow on the challenges surrounding the nursing and midwifery workforce.

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