The Patient Coalition for AI, Data and Digital Tech in Health (known as the Digital Coalition) published its first report in 2021, Digital Health during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Learning Lessons to Maintain Momentum.

It highlighted that uptake of digital health tech during the pandemic was limited, while patient experience of tools including video conferencing was mixed. Patients strongly believed in the value of digital health but there were still significant concerns about using it, particularly around data collection and sharing.

The report concluded that the UK must build on progress made to digitise the NHS during the pandemic rather than revert to pre-COVID-19 service models and draw on good practice examples that have helped facilitate service improvements, such as virtual self-referral and clinician communication support.

The Coalition recommended that the Government should:

  1. Ensure digital policy reflects patient priorities
  2. Involve patients in the policymaking process
  3. Educate people about the value of digital health technology
  4. Make digital health technology accessible to all
  5. Ensure that regulations for the collection, sharing and use of patient data are clear and consistently applied.

The Coalition recommended that the NHS should:

  1. Examine the public experience of digital health technology during the pandemic
  2. Ensure patients have a choice
  3. Give patients more time and control over their health and care
  4. Reassure patients that their data is safe
  5. Continue to strengthen and publicise digital assurance.

About the Digital Coalition 

Membership of the Digital Coalition