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RCS response to Topol Review report

11 Feb 2019

The Topol Review, led by cardiologist, geneticist, and digital medicine researcher Dr Eric Topol and produced by Health Education England  has been published today.  The report explores how to prepare the healthcare workforce, through education and training, to deliver the digital future.

Responding to the report's findings, Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: 
“The way we care for patients is set to be transformed by a wave of exciting new technologies. From advances in robot-assisted surgery and virtual reality, to developments in genomics and artificial intelligence, the doctor’s toolkit is expanding exponentially. 
“With so much technological change on the horizon, it is clear that the skills we equip our NHS workforce with, as well as the way we train them, will need to undergo a transformation too. 
“The RCS supports the Topol recommendation that genomics, data analytics and artificial intelligence become prominent elements of the undergraduate curricula for healthcare professionals. 
“In my own specialty, it’s plain to see that the surgeons of the future will need to understand genomics, learn how to correctly acquire and handle tissue for DNA testing, and then also support their patients to understand what that test results mean for their health. 
“The report touches on the benefit of systematically implementing robotics in the NHS but does not make any specific recommendations for achieving this. The RCS believes the location of surgical robots needs to be much better planned in the future to balance equity of access across the country and cost effectiveness. We would like to see NHS England lead a robotics strategy to help the NHS plan and purchase new surgical robotics systems.” 

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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