AI and Smart Technology in healthcare
The adoption of artificial intelligence & robotics in hospitals is based on a clear rationale: enhanced efficiency, patient and staff safety, and enhanced human-to-human time in treating patients.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has urged that the NHS must adopt new technology in order to survive, and has pledged a £412Million technology fund, primarily for purposes of automation. To augment this, a study by the Taxpayers Alliance suggests one tenth of the NHS budget could be saved by the introduction of “automation” across the health service, and could save up to £17 billion annually in public sector costs by 2030.
The report states “embracing technology is crucial and the Department of Health is particularly important in this regard, because it would mean more lives saved”. Additionally, there is a wider acceptance of IT and technology amongst the public: The research found that 90% of people prefer to book GP appointments online, with an enthusiasm for replacing GP receptionists with automated systems. The report highlights innovations, such as the use of AI to analyse emergency calls, which were found to detect life-threatening situations more quickly.
The study also highlights the need to eliminate concern over employment or job losses, hinting at a diversion of talent: the report demonstrates the positive effects that such technology and innovation has on the economy, productivity, and jobs. *10 It cites that between 2001 and 2015, new technology made 800,000 jobs obsolete, but it created more than 3.5 million.