The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age

Doctor working with futuristic touch screen interface

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017


5.30 p.m. Tea and coffee
6.00 p.m. Lecture
7.00 p.m. Wine and nibbles


Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Li Ka Shing Centre, Robinson Way
Cambridge, CB2 0RE


Everyone had high hopes that computers would be that magic bullet we’ve been desperate for to improve safety, quality, and efficiency. But the path to digital nirvana has been bumpy at best, in both the US and UK.

This lecture will describe why digitising healthcare is so hard, and what needs to be done to get it right. The talk will draw on examples from both the US and UK, and summarize the key recommendations from the Wachter Report, which transformed the path to digitisation in the NHS.


Professor Robert Wachter, MD, is chair of the University of California, San Francisco Department of Medicine. His 2015 book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, was a New York Times science bestseller. He chaired a blue ribbon commission advising England’s National Health Service on its digital strategy, resulting in the 2016 Wachter Report.


CCHSR is a collaboration between RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge that informs policymaking through evidence based research on health services.

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