The better use of medical data has huge potential to improve health.
Making it easier and faster for clinicians to access records can cut waste and accidents in the NHS. Enabling patients to access and understand their own records could improve public health. And enabling researchers and business to access large sets of records could lead to the development of radically better treatments.
As medicine becomes increasingly personalised, the UK has a particular opportunity to lead on the use of data. Our relatively centralised health service has left us with particular potential to exploit large data sets.
But there are obstacles and questions to answer. Delivering transformational change within challenging financial constraints which provide tangible benefits for clinicians, patients and the public. Questions about patient confidentiality and privacy are central, and there are different visions of how best to exploit the UK's health data opportunity.
Tim Kelsey is the first National Director for Patients and Information in the National Health Service, and was formerly the UK Government's Executive Director of Transparency and Open Data.
Tim Kelsey | National Director for Patients and Information, NHS
Rohan Silva | Senior Adviser on Policy to the Prime Minister
Neil O'Brien| Director of Policy Exchange