New Code of Conduct for NHS AI Systems: What You Need to Know
Technology is at the forefront of improving healthcare in the UK, with many digital initiatives set to be launched over the coming years. In light of this, a new code of conduct for NHS AI systems has been announced to ensure the NHS uses the safest and most effective digital systems. But what does this mean for GPs?
About the new code of conduct for NHS AI systems
As the NHS embraces new digital ways of working, the government has announced a new code of conduct to ensure that all technology used by the NHS meets a ‘gold standard’ of data protection. The code has been created with the help of several partners, including patient groups, academics and those at the forefront of the medical industry.
The aim of this new code of conduct is to make it easier for companies to develop systems for the medical field. It will also ensure that the technology is safe and secure, protecting patients while delivering the most effective healthcare possible.
According to the UK government, the code of conduct will:
- Promote the UK as the best place in the world to invest in health tech
- Provide evidence of what good practice looks like to industry and commissioners
- Reassure patients and clinicians that data-driven technology is safe, effective and maintains privacy
- Allow the government to work with suppliers to guide the development of new technology so products are suitable for the NHS in the future
- Make sure the NHS get a fair deal from the commercialisation of its data resources
The impact of AI on healthcare
Artificial Intelligence could save lives by treating a number of health conditions, including dementia, cancer and obesity. However, it also comes with risks, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. To be used responsibly, AI must meet certain standards, which is why the code of conduct has been put in place.
NHS AI systems are already having an impact on patient care. AI allows tasks such as monitoring scans to work quickly, so the work is done within minutes rather than hours or days. This extra time saving could be life-saving when it comes to treating patients. Other uses include identifying skin cancer in moles and eye disorders –all of which can be done quickly and effectively with machine learning technology.
NHS crisis: is AI the solution?
While NHS AI is not an overnight solution, the system does look promising for patients and their doctors. Technology is being seen as one of the key ways to improve patient care and reduce GP workload in the years to come, and systems like GP Connect could see a big shake up to primary care. However, there are still concerns that there aren’t enough doctors to meet the demand currently faced by the NHS.
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