The Government is setting up a disease prevention taskforce to investigate the use of technology and data to combat cardiovascular disease and other health conditions.
University College London cardiology specialist professor John Deanfield will lead the project under the newly created role of Government champion for personalised prevention. The taskforce will explore a range of ideas including the use of personalised data to better predict and prevent ill health, and will examine how the latest health technology could be used to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat key risk factors.
The project is expected to last at least six months, during which time Professor Deanfield – who led a review into the NHS Health Check in 2021 – will put forward a series of recommendations to the Government. The taskforce will also advise on how individuals, businesses and public services could be incentivised to support prevention outside of the NHS.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the aims of the project include predicting and managing disease more effectively using personalised data, creating new partnerships for delivering preventative services, and bringing care closer to home and communities.
Additionally, the taskforce will identify how its vision for cardiovascular disease prevention might impact on conditions with shared risk factors, such as diabetes and dementia.
Professor Deanfield said he was ‘thrilled’ to continue his work with the Government on cardiovascular disease prevention. ‘This appointment provides a real opportunity to radically rethink our approach to cardiovascular health and disease prevention and I’m confident we have the right people around the table to do this,’ he added.
The establishment of the taskforce adds to other tech initiatives the Government is exploring, including an NHS Digital Health Check trial in Cornwall and the pilot of the Better Health: Rewards app in Wolverhampton, which incentivises people to eat better and move more.