The power of patient data: how information can transform the NHS’s capacity for innovation


George Freeman MP


Emran Mian, Director, SMF

We are delighted to welcome George Freeman MP, UK Trade Envoy and founder of Patients4Data, to discuss the revolutionary potential of healthcare data for drug research, patient empowerment and accountability. George is sponsor of the Electronic Patient Records (Continuity of Care) Bill which will give patients access to their own electronic patient records, and place a requirement upon medical professionals to share electronic patient records as part of individual care plans.

In recent years an explosion of new technologies has led to revolutionary new approaches in healthcare and biomedical research. Patient data has opened up drug research to smaller companies in a market that has long been dominated by ‘big pharma’. This could have the effect of lowering drug costs, delivering greater innovation and more personalised treatments. Technologies using data, such as Electronic Patient Records, are also tools which the NHS can use to pioneer access to new, more personalised medicine, promote patient empowerment, and deliver more efficient, integrated care. However, the greater use of data also raises challenges around maintaining patient privacy and allowing patients to ‘opt out’ of their data being used if they wish.