Technology is all around us and non-more so than in the Healthcare Sector. The Healthcare Sector by its very nature is at the forefront of development, discovery, innovation and new technologies, however progress can be slow and many barriers have to be overcome. On 5th September 2018, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) introduced a code of conduct setting out the government’s commitment to support innovators in healthcare technology.

The code introduces a set of “gold-standard” principles with the primary focus on protecting patient data and encouraging the use of technology across the healthcare sector to create a trusted environment for data-driven technologies.

The DHSC hopes that the code will:

  • help technology suppliers to better understand what is expected of them;
  • improve healthcare services through the use of technology;
  • encourage and increase the use of Artificial Intelligence; and
  • help healthcare providers to choose safe, effective and secure technology.

The code sets out 10 principles for technology companies to follow and pledges 5 commitments from the government.

The government has committed to:

  • simplify the regulatory and funding landscape;
  • create an environment which enables experimentation;
  • encourage the NHS to adopt innovation;
  • improve interoperability and openness;
  • listen to users (including technology suppliers, healthcare professionals and patients).

The code is currently voluntary, but it is hoped that organisations will sign up to it to encourage collaboration between technology innovators and the NHS. The government is seeking feedback on the code, and has published an online questionnaire (https://r1.surveysandforms.com/4c3zqo08-ef3b6jf1).

The code will then be republished in December 2018, when it is hoped the code will become a standard for technology partnerships.