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An information revolution: time for the NHS to step up to the challenge

Over 30 million people in the United Kingdom now use the Internet every day, and around 12 million people use mobile phones to access the Internet. Can the NHS start to make effective use of this rapid development in information technology to improve communication between professionals and patients, and patients’ experience of their healthcare? This question is discussed by Helen Atherton and I in an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. We also give some examples of how clinicians and managers can begin to incorporate online technologies into their day-to-day practice. Online technologies and the ‘information revolution’ are changing the delivery of health services in the NHS and health systems in many other countries. Clinicians and managers need to act to take advantage of these developments now or risk being left behind, as their patients become increasingly familiar with the use of online and mobile communication technologies. This will in turn lead to the NHS is seen as a technologically backwards health system that has failed to take advantage of this information revolution.

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