London, Dec 21 (IANS) Britain’s Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that free Wi-Fi is to be provided in all National Health Service (NHS) buildings in England in a bid to improve services and reduce costs, the media reported on Monday.
“Everyone using the NHS expects it to be a world leader in digital healthcare and free Wi-Fi is an essential part of making that a reality,” BBC quoted Hunt as saying.
“It will give patients and staff the ability to access the services they need as well as freeing up clinical time and reducing overall costs.”
Patients can use their smart phones or other devices to go online to keep in touch with friends and family or watch on-demand TV.
In some hospitals paper charts have already been replaced by mobile clinical systems and tablets, allowing for data to be shared around the building.
At present, some hospitals charge for Wi-Fi and others have no access at all.
The government has set no deadline for the plans but expects the NHS to be “digital and paperless” by 2020.
The move is a recommendation from a government-commissioned report on improving the use of online technology in the health service.