Supermarkets know more information about shoppers than doctors do about their patients, says Health Secretary

Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed lives could be saved if greater use was made of existing technology.

Hospitals and GPs are handicapped by systems that are a decade behind the private sector, he insisted. Mr Hancock said at the launch of a review into the NHS’s digital future: “Tesco has a more sophisticated and more efficient technological system.

“They know who you are from the loyalty card, to where you shop from store IDs, to what you buy from the items scanned.

“That information means they can shape a personalised service to deliver for the customer.

“The NHS doesn’t have anything like that yet.”

NHS IS '10 YEARS BEHIND'

Mr Hancock criticised the fact that the health service cannot tell you which hospital a patient has visited or which medicines they are on.

Speaking to doctors at the Royal Society for Medicine, he added: “If Tesco can do this with groceries, we need to do it with life-saving operations.” But Mr Hancock denied it was about having the latest gizmos and insisted: “If we just made better use of today’s technology, we could save more people.”

His comments follow a report by US academic Eric Topol into how tech will shape the NHS, which predicted an increased reliance on artificial intelligence, wearable devices and robotics.

Dr Topol added that the NHS is “ten years behind in some fields”.



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