UK NHS to unveil COVID-inspired data strategy

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The UK National Health Service (NHS) is preparing to publish a new healthcare data strategy that will aim to take the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable the secure, effective use of patient data.

The NHS data strategy will seek to ensure people can view their medical records and keep track of their health information.

Meanwhile, the experiences with using data to save lives during COVID-19 will be incorporated into the new strategy.

The emergency measures introduced during the pandemic have enabled frontline staff to share patient data securely, speed up the processes for granting approvals to new treatments and access the information needed to develop the Oxford vaccine, proven to reduce coronavirus mortality.

The strategy will promote innovation such as the use of robotic process automation to save on manual processing time, and will include proposals to make the UK a leader in innovation-friendly regulation and use of AI technologies.

“Data saves lives. We need to learn from the pandemic to improve the way our health and care system processes data, giving power to patients and enabling clinicians to use data in new ways to improve patient care and support research for innovative treatments,” UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said.

“This pandemic has shown us just how many lives can be saved through effective use of data. We must do all we can to harness this potential, and the changes brought about through this strategy will no doubt go on to save countless more lives in the future.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ART STOCK CREATIVE

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