Government Vision on Prevention - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:15 pm, 6th November 2018

I am very grateful to my noble friend for that question: he speaks with great wisdom and insight on this. The great promise of technology is to take all the information we hold about people—their health and care records, their genomic data, their lifestyle data—and use artificial intelligence to tailor health advice to them. There will be not just broadcast public health messages that everyone sees, but specific messages that will change my behaviour or your behaviour, to make sure that we live the kind of lifestyles we actually aspire to live, even if we do not always fulfil that.

I highlight three things we are doing. The first is our commitment to sequence up to 5 million genomes over the next five years. Secondly, we will try to make sure that AI is used in the right way to support healthcare and that relationships are entered into by the NHS and tech companies on a proper basis to bring the maximum possible benefit to the NHS and patients. Thirdly, we will try to take advantage of the enormous opportunity we have with the data that is available in a single-payer comprehensive health system by reassuring people that it is being kept and used safely and legally, but then utilising it so that it is joined up as a single integrated health and care data record, available for direct care and—critically—for research. Then we can start to tailor the medicine we deliver and move to a truly personalised NHS.