Smarter use of technology would save the NHS and social care sector £18.5billion a year, campaigners say

THE NHS and social care sector could save a whopping £18.5 billion a year if it used artificial intelligence better, a study today reveals.

The study, by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, found that billions are being spent on expensive tests and treatment.

But better use of apps can transform care – freeing up the valuable time of doctors and nurses.

It said apps which provide real time information about A&E can slash the number of people with minor injuries clogging up hospitals.

While others allow Brits suffering from illnesses such as cancer to input information about their conditions, letting doctors provide more tailored care.

The report said better use of automation could save the NHS £12.5bn a year by 2013.

And the social care sector could save £5.9bn annually by the same date.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the enormous potential of technology to “save and improve lives”.

But he warned that far more needs to be done to roll out robotic technology across the sector.

He said: “To save and improve lives, technology has huge potential so long as it is properly harnessed by our health and care system.

“Just as importantly, it has the potential to improve the working lives of health and care staff, freeing them up to do more of what they love and do so well – treating and caring for patients.

“It is mission critical for all of us who love and cherish our NHS that we seize the opportunities of the future and ensure that modern technology benefits staff, benefits patients and benefits our country as a whole.”

John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said it will take more than just cash to improve Britain’s health services.

He said: “Exciting developments in technology could deliver savings for taxpayers – but also, crucially, save more lives.”

Spending on health has gobbled up an ever increasing chunk of public spending – helping to send the tax burden to a 50 year-high.

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