Think tank calls for access to anonymised NHS data to grow economy

27/05/2024 | Tony Blair Institute

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's think tank has proposed the creation of a trust to oversee the sharing of anonymised patient data with trusted researchers. In a white paper, the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is calling for the creation of an NHS Data Trust (NDT) to commercialise such data, which would advance the UK's life sciences sector and related industries such as artificial intelligence. The research could expidite the development of new treatments for patients while strengthening the UK economy. 

The paper highlights the slow progress in the health-data landscape due to its complex and fragmented nature, along with legitimate concerns around privacy and public trust. TBI calls for a bold and imaginative strategy to address the current fragmented situation, emphasising the need to consolidate data projects for long-term sustainability and tangible patient benefits. The proposal suggests potential economic growth of up to £2 billion annually, which could be reinvested to expedite the availability of innovations to the NHS.

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Healthcare, medical record, NHS

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