NHS could achieve cost savings of £12.5bn a year by fully automating repetitive and administrative tasks, such as communicating medical notes, booking appointments and processing prescriptions.
It further suggests that “home help care bots” designed to help people move around the home, help with household maintenance and even wash, dress and feed themselves, reducing the human workload by 30%.
The report claims that automation will serve to complement human workers and free up more time for direct patient care, rather than resulting in mass unemployment.
In total, robots and AI systems could take on approximately a third (31%) of the workload currently faced by GPs, a quarter (23%) of that of hospital doctors and 29% of that of nurses, it says.
It points out that technology will also help to fill a void left by a shortage of frontline staff in health and social care.
While many of the machine-led tasks would be mundane in nature, the report also sets out a more fanciful vision of the hospital of the future.
For example, bedside robots designed to shuttle meals to patients as well as help them in and out of bed may become a common sight on the wards.
Great Ormond Street Hospital recently announced a partnership with Microsoft to explore how AI and other cutting-edge technologies can transform healthcare delivery.
The future is full of possibilities where robots empower people in old age, enabling better, longer, and more fulfilling lives. Wider application of social digital technology at all ages will enable more people to remain supported and connected to friends and family.