Tesco knows more about customers than the NHS does about its patients, the Health Secretary has said.
Matt Hancock urged the health service to embrace new technology in order to provide personalised care and save lives.
And he warned that the health service does not even keep basic records on which devices have been implanted into patients, nor track their medical history properly.
Speaking at the launch of a report on how the NHS needs to plan for a digital future, he said that the health service was a decade behind modern businesses, in several respects.
“We want to harness the power of technology to shape it as a force for good in order to deliver better for the NHS and to save lives,” he told the event in London.
“Right now, Tesco has a more sophisticated and more efficient technological system than the NHS. They know who you are from the loyalty card to where you shop, from store IDs to what you buy, and the items scanned at the checkout.
“That wealth of information means…they can shape the offer with a personalised service in order to deliver for you the customer,” he said.
“And they’re delivering groceries. The NHS doesn’t have anything like that yet.”