Health secretary heads to Paris GovTech Summit in search of technology for NHS

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock is heading to Paris to meet world leaders to discuss ways to fast-track new healthcare technologies for the NHS.

He is due to attend the GovTech summit alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and other EU ministers on Monday.

The summit will look at how emerging technologies can be used to revolutionise healthcare.

He is due to sit on a panel at Paris City Hall entitled From Lab to Gov: Harnessing the power of innovation to discuss the importance of embracing the latest advances in tech and artificial intelligence (AI) for health and social care.

Says Mr Hancock:

“I’ve said I’ll scour the world to find technology to improve the NHS. So as we build the most dynamic HealthTech ecosystem on the planet, it’s vital we work closely with our friends and neighbours.

“Britain and France have a centuries long tradition of medical collaboration and now we want to turn that into a collaboration on cutting edge health technology.”

Among the other delegates are representatives from the UN and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as a number of academics and representatives from tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft and smaller tech start ups.

Also attending will be Cabinet Office minister for implementation Oliver Dowden to promote the UK’s life sciences, genomics and AI sectors and to identify opportunities for collaboration between countries.

Adds Mr Dowden:

“Britain is a global leader in digital innovation, with some of the best technology companies in the world operating in this country. We are keen to build on that, learning from best practice, both in the UK and overseas, to ensure we deliver the best possible public services.

“By harnessing the power of technology we are delivering public services that are simpler and faster for users and significantly cheaper to run.”

The Cabinet Office is due to publish an innovation strategy in spring next year setting out how the Government can use emerging technologies to improve public services.

It will look at issues that prevent collaboration between the public and private sector in order to introduce emerging technologies to Government and identify areas where investment can increase the pace of innovation.

AI needs to have framework – claims Canada’s Justin Trudeau at GovTech

Meanwhile Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pointed to the potential risks of Artificial Intelligence working against humanity saying ‘frameworks’ need to be put in place to stop this from happening.

Speaking at the inaugural GovTech Summit, in Paris, today (Nov 12), which is the largest gathering of political leaders, entrepreneurs and technology investors to improve public services and democratic practices, he said:

“There is a need to set up a framework within AI for good. How do we make sure our technologies are more beneficial to humanity than detrimental?”

 His comments come as technologist reach closer to creating true AI that can think entirely independently of humans. Some fear true AI may not choose to help humans but instead work to protect itself or planet Earth.

 Also speaking at the event European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel admitted many were worried about AI and privacy issues.

 “Our citizens are concerned about AI,” she said. “AI doesn’t know any borders. Our approach is on values. We need to talk about privacy protection.”

Chris Price