Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock: The 5 mission critical areas of digital health technology

From driving digital transformation in the areas of the NHS still left behind to empowering staff to be able to affect change in their own workplaces, the Health Secretary outlined his key visions for the power of digital technology in the health service.

Speaking at the Digital Health REWIRED 2021 virtual festival, Matt Hancock outlined the five areas which he saw as mission critical:

  1. Digitise the areas of the NHS which are not already digitally proficient, allowing everyone to be able to take advantage of digital technology
  2. Connecting the system to ensure data flows smoothly and easily. This includes pulling together data previously held in silos and streamlining the use of data and user experience with data in the NHS
  3. Technology must be used to transform how care is given, rather than just modernise old, analog systems. Digital technology cannot be allowed to just be a ‘nice to have’ or ‘bolt-on’ solution
  4. We must build for the future, not just provide solutions for the problems we face now
  5. Give people the power and opportunity to drive digital change where they work

Covering a wide range of aspects, these core areas were viewed as the barriers which needed to be overcome to digitise the NHS.

Mr Hancock explained: “Now, it is an important moment to push forward and drive the digital agenda on.

“We must learn from the pandemic. We must learn from the challenges and the successes, with the belief in the power of technology to change people’s healthcare now commonplace across the NHS.

“One of the [advantages] we could call on during the pandemic, because of the work we have done before the pandemic, was the power of digital technology.

“It is at these moments of exceptional change where we must look at what has worked and what we can take forward. How we can build on this, as a moment of digital transformation, and turn it into a movement.

“This has been a year of big changes, but now is the time to bottle the spirit we’ve seen [across the NHS] and put it into the service of those people solving the new challenges ahead.”

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

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- Steve Gulati, University of Birmingham 

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