As we begin this new decade we are at the cusp of an exciting age in healthcare. Digital advancements made over the last few years are now really starting to transform the way that patients are treated and cared for in the United Kingdom by healthcare providers. COVID-19 enforced lockdowns have led to accelerated showcasing of technological developments in healthcare and products now available, which in turn has highlighted the need for change.
Robotic surgery and artificial intelligence (AI) are significant areas of growth. Robots are already being used within hospitals to revolutionise surgery and AI is being trialled for use within a clinical setting to help diagnose diseases more effectively and free up precious resources.
However despite significant developments, digital healthcare technology or ‘healthtech’ remains in its infancy. Healthcare providers have adopted digital technologies in many areas and as this use increases, develops and evolves it will be necessary to develop a framework for sharing data in order to take full advantage of changes in technology as they happen.
In pursuing the advantages and opportunities that healthtech offers in the delivery of healthcare, it will be necessary to explore how best to minimise the risks that new technology may also present.
Healthtech in the future – the legal ramifications
As advancements in healthtech take root, the key question for the healthcare sector is the extent to which technological advancements utilised to treat and care for patients will challenge the underlying basis of the legal obligations it currently owes. This report considers emerging areas of healthcare and new technology that offer significant opportunities and benefits in the delivery of healthcare, but also present new and significant risks for the healthcare sector.