Expert advice

The risks of technology can outweigh the benefits

Patient safety and confidentiality may be under threat in the increasingly digital workplace 

Patient safety and confidentiality may be under threat in the increasingly digital workplace

When Matt Hancock was promoted to health and social care secretary in July, taking over the post from Jeremy Hunt, one of his priorities was to embrace technology in the NHS.

Praising schemes such as GP at hand – which allows patients to have ‘virtual’ consultations via their smartphone or computer with a remote GP service – he said technology has the potential to improve patient care and ease staff workloads.

Continuous innovation

Remote consultations have many benefits – such as sparing patients the cost and inconvenience of travel – but they have their challenges and are not suitable for all patients.

There is also the danger that companies such as Babylon, who are piloting GP at hand, could end up ‘cherry picking’ relatively


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