GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 05:  Ambulances sit at the accident and emergency at the Glasgow Royal hospital on January 5, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. Hospitals across the country are being stretched to the limit, with hundreds of patients facing long waiting times to be seen at A&E departments as the NHS is close to breaking point. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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Sir, I write with reference to three articles on Big Tech healthcare on February 3 (“ Dr Bezos will have a hard task curing US healthcare sector”, “ Consumer power is key to Big Tech’s health battle” and “ A timely health warning on digital data”). Our belief is that focus should be on non-profits to produce digital health solutions, without the need to satisfy commercial interests and shareholders.

Our charity White Swan works to improve the health of society through technology and analytics. Within 18 months we have benefited those with dementia, Parkinson’s, arthritis, and mental health sufferers, as well as predicting Accident & Emergency hospital admittance, and diagnosing rare disease. We give academia, charities, public sector, government and healthcare professionals the chance to produce healthcare solutions at a fraction of commercial cost, and avoid blind-alley diagnosis delays. There is huge scope for accelerating research and patient wellbeing by addressing data banks and social media conversations to uncover key trends and information. Access to global wisdom can and does produce fast and accurate insights.

George Soros complained at Davos about the monopolistic behaviour of giant IT platform companies crushing competitors and stifling innovation. A charity ensures focus on health tech for the public good with the highest standards of probity. Last year was a record year for digital health in the US, with almost $6bn of funding. It is high time that funding for UK non-profits in this sector followed suit.

Philip Hedges
Chairman Trustee,
White Swan,
Exeter, Devon, UK

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