Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



New guidance paves the way for adoption of AI

Speaking at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo Conference this week, health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy announced a new code of conduct for artificial intelligence (AI) and other data-driven technologies that should allow NHS patients to benefit from the latest innovations.


The Code of Conduct for Data-driven Health and Care Technology encourages companies to meet a gold-standard set of principles that will protect patient data and make sure only the best technologies are used by the NHS, to bring real benefits to patients.


The potential of AI to enable the NHS to provide better and safer care is immense, but it relies on the use of data that must be stewarded in a responsible way. This code of conduct aims to move this agenda forward. It clarifies what the government expects from suppliers of data-driven technologies and what the government will do to support and encourage innovators in health and care – including the development of trusted approval systems and a coherent pathway for suppliers to enter the market. It will also provide the basis for ongoing engagement and conversation around the use of such new technology and provide the basis for the health and care system and suppliers of digital technology to enter into commercial terms under which the benefits are shared fairly. 


The code sets out 10 principles for safe and effective digital innovations and five commitments from the government to ensure that the health and care system is ready and able to adopt new and innovative technology at scale. It outlines how the government will make it easier for companies to work with the NHS and what the NHS expects in return. The aim is to make it easier for suppliers to develop technologies to tackle issues such as dementia, obesity and cancer.


Lord O’Shaughnessy says: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning is a field that is moving at lightning speed and has tremendous potential across the healthcare sector.


“That is why I am pleased to announce that we have today launched our initial technology partnerships Code of Conduct – 10 principles which set out the rules of engagement between industry and the health and care system. These principles provide a basis to deepen the trust between patients, clinicians, researchers and innovators.


“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.”


The government says it welcomes comment and feedback on this code in order to strengthen its contents. The code is voluntary at the moment but organisations are encouraged to sign up to it immediately if they want to.


For more detail about this code of conduct, including a breakdown of the 10 principles and five commitments, and to comment, click here.