NHS Information Strategy unveiled
Patients will be able to book doctors' appointments and check test results online, under plans being unveiled by the coalition.
Smartphone apps are to be developed to help people choose between local services, and medical records will be accessible online within three years.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the moves, part of a new NHS Information Strategy, will give individuals more "power".
"The internet has revolutionised how people shop, bank and travel, and for too long the NHS has not been part of that.
"These proposals will ensure that the NHS will become easier to understand, easier to access and will drive up standards of care.
"If people are going to be able to choose, with their doctor, which hospital will provide them with the best care, they will need all the latest information."
A new website to help patients choose the best care will cover NHS hospitals, community services and social care, as well as providing information on charities and voluntary groups.
A shift to online booking for GP appointments should end the "8am rush" of people phoning in.
Repeat prescriptions and test results will also be available online.
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