London “has the potential to lead the way” in digital healthcare, says report

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London should be at the forefront of the digital health revolution, championing its cause by creating an ‘Institute for Digital Health’, suggests a report by the London Health Commission.

A report, assembled by a committee chaired by Imperial College surgeon and former health minister Lord Darzi, claims that London “has the potential to lead the way” in the new digital healthcare landscape.

“More support can be provided for innovators to undertake local development with patients and clinicians, helping to demonstrate the impact of their products,” the report says.

Established by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the London Health Commission exists to examine how the capital’s healthcare can be improved.

In the commission’s final report it laid out 60 recommendations – including that NHS England should establish a single “London-wide online platform to encourage and inform people” about how people can take greater control over their care, and providing them with the right digital tools to achieve this.

“People should be able to access data held within their health records 24/7; they should be able to provide consent and filter sharing of their information; and as a result they should be able to be true partners in care delivery, contributing to clinical conversations and taking greater responsibility for their own care,” said the report.

The new ‘Institute for Digital Health’ would partner with other organisations in a bid to enhance its clout, acting as “an incubator for innovative health information ideas”.

The report also recommends that the newly formed body should develop an app strategy to appeal to the ‘connected generation’ in areas such as mental health and obesity “to support the delivery of better patient experience, clinical outcomes and more effective use of resources.”

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