Patient data
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A new report from the Academy of Medical Sciences called for a radical culture change in the NHS, and across the health data and medical technology community, to deliver the benefits of new health technologies that use patient data for care, and to retain public trust.

The report outlined several principles for action so that patients can benefit from digital information about them being used in smarter, more joined-up ways to revolutionise healthcare and support life-saving research.

The principles will enable organisations to respect and protect the privacy, rights and choices of patients and the public and provide safeguards to support fair use of patient data, the Academy said,

The report also highlights the potential of the NHS to become a world leader in the use of patient data for technologies to improve healthcare. It calls on NHS to establish a system that learns from itself, feeding back digital information about patients and using technology to support, not replace, face-to-face healthcare.

“Health technologies that use patient data have huge potential to improve our health and wellbeing. We are already seeing the development of wearable monitors linked to automated treatment that are revolutionising the lives of patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes. Our workshops with the public emphasised that they want to see the NHS deliver on the potential of data-driven technologies, giving better and safer health care for all.” said Professor Carol Dezateux FMedSci, Chair of report Steering Group and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Data Science, Queen Mary University of London.

The steering group that oversaw the development of the principles comprised 12 experts, including leading clinical, biomedical and social scientists and legal, ethical and technology specialists.