New code of conduct aims to protect patient data from NHS AI deals

The principles urge businesses to let the government help guide the development of their technology

The government has unveiled a set of principles that aim to protect patient data and ensure only the best technology is chosen as part of any deals made between the NHS and AI firms.

Health minister James O'Shaughnessy announced the proposals as part of a new code of conduct that aims to foster a safe and trusted environment for UK citizens, adding that the increased used of AI and other technologies to improve health care should not be to the detriment of patient privacy.

The Technology Partnerships Code of Conduct sets out 10 principles that outline how the government expects AI tech firms to work with the NHS to make it easier for them, but also the NHS's expectations if patient data is used.

"Artificial intelligence and machine learning is a field that is moving at lightning speed and has tremendous potential across the healthcare sector," Lord O'Shaughnessy said. "These principles provide a basis to deepen the trust between patients, clinicians, researchers and innovators."

The principles state that the NHS, and therefore taxpayers, should get a "good deal on future partnerships" tech businesses and that companies allow the government to guide the development of new technologies. The code also stipulates how patient data should be protected and a timeframe for launching data-driven technologies so both staff and patients can benefit as quickly as possible.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The government would also like businesses to give the NHS discounts and bonuses, equity or extra-value services as part of any agreed deal.

While the new code is voluntary, and therefore lacks any meaningful provision for forcing companies to comply, it's likely going to be within a company's interest to sign up, at least in part how much a firm would be willing to let government guide development of their technology is likely to vary.

"This is an important first step towards creating a safe and trusted environment in which innovation can flourish to the benefit of all our health," O'Shaughnessy added.

AI technology has already been successfully deployed across a handful of areas within the NHS, including the early diagnosis of heart disease and lung cancer, the matching of patients to clinical trials, and in the reduction of false positives and unnecessary operations.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/laptops/354533/dell-xps-13-new-9300-hands-on-review-chasing-perfection
Laptops

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020