AI doctors and chatbot nurses? Labour must show the future of the NHS isn’t so dystopian | Jeni Tennison

To reform the NHS, a new government will have to ignore self-serving tech companies – and engage a sceptical public instead

The AI revolution is upon us, and Labour is hoping it could help rescue an NHS in crisis. At a recent Institute for Government event, Karin Smyth, shadow minister for health, described how a Labour government will “hold the door open” for tech companies. But the tech-utopian visions Labour is being sold are not cost free: they could fundamentally reshape our relationships with our doctors and our own health, and undermine the founding principles on which the NHS is built. While tech companies flog AI magic, civil society must act as a counterbalance to temper the hype and remind the NHS about what really matters.

The Tory government also hopes that unlocking “the incredible power that [health] data possesses” can drive innovation, reduce costs and improve healthcare. The optimism crosses the parliamentary divide. The consensus is based on a vision of AI’s role in analysing medical health records and diagnostics, such as the early detection of Parkinson’s from eye scans or the “personalised AI doctor” extolled by the Tony Blair Institute in its recent report. It encompasses a top-to-bottom transformation of the healthcare system: from chatbots in mental health apps, to waiting list prioritisation algorithms, to supporting the discovery of new medicines.

Jeni Tennison runs Connected by Data, a campaign for communities to have a powerful say over the development and use of data and AI

Continue reading…

Unlock the power of our talent network. Partner with QAT Global for your staffing needs and experience the difference of having a dedicated team of experts supporting your enterprise’s growth.

Explore Articles from QAT Global