Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced free Wi-Fi is to be provided in all NHS buildings in England.
The announcement means patients can use their smartphones or other devices to go online and to keep in touch with family or to watch catch-up TV.
No deadline has been put in place, however the government expects the NHS to be "digital and paperless" by 2020. Money for the service is being provided from a £1bn technology fund.
Jeremy Hunt said: "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.
"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."
The Department of Health said the greater use of e-prescribing could reduce medication errors by 50% and believes the plans will encourage the use of technologies that could help alert doctors and nurses to medical problems and reduce paperwork and errors.
Patients could also wear monitors to alert medical staff to issues such as diabetes.
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