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In 2019, the Topol review was published on behalf of the secretary of state for health and social care in the UK, preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future.1 A multidisciplinary team of experts, including clinicians, researchers, ethicists, computer scientists, engineers and economists, reviewed the available data and projected into the future (ie, next 20 years) two key questions: what impact technological developments (including genomics, artificial intelligence (AI), digital medicine and robotics) will have on the roles and functions of National Health System clinical staff? How could this innovation (ie, biosensors, electronic patient record, smartphone apps, digital infrastructure and virtual reality) ensure safer, more productive, more effective and more personalised care for patients? It is now widely recognised that data science and information technologies enable understanding of the uniqueness of each individual and the ability to deliver healthcare on a far more timely, efficient and tailored basis.
Mental health is a top priority in the UK national research agenda2 and presents a unique opportunity because it is in the next wave of adoption of digital health and innovation technologies.3 The Topol review noted that innovation can ‘bring a new emphasis on the nurturing of the precious interhuman bond, based on trust, clinical presence, empathy and communication’. Patients must occupy a …
Contributors AC and BO drafted the editorial. All other authors critically revised the text. All authors approved the final version of the article.
Funding AC is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility, by an NIHR Research Professorship (grant RP-2017-08-ST2-006), by the NIHR Oxford and Thames Valley Applied Research Collaboration and by the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (grant BRC-1215-20005).
Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK National Health Service, the National Institute for Health Research or the UK Department of Health.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.