Digital Skills in the NHS

This newly published report, led by US academic Eric Topol, predicts that 90% of all NHS jobs will require digital skills within 20 years, and calls for education providers to take action now to ensure that we are able to gain the benefits that digital healthcare technologies offer.

Dr Topol was asked by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to lead an independent review to advise on:

  • how technological and other developments (including in genomics, artificial intelligence, digital medicine and robotics) are likely to change the roles and functions of clinical staff in all professions over the next two decades to ensure safer, more productive, more effective and more personal care for patients;
  • what the implications of these changes are for the skills required by the professionals filling these roles, identifying professions or sub-specialisms where these may be particularly significant;
  • the consequences for the selection, curricula, education, training, development and lifelong learning of current and future National Health Service staff.

The report also highlights the need for all of us to continually develop our digital skills: “Over the next twenty years three changes will inevitably happen: more and more people will have their genome sequenced; patients will generate and interpret much more of their own health data at home; and the speed, accuracy and scalability of medical data interpretation from artificial intelligence will grow exponentially."

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