Free wi-fi is to be provided in all NHS buildings in England in a bid to improve services and reduce costs, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.
It will mean patients can use their smart phones or other devices to go online to keep in touch with friends and family or watch on-demand TV.
At present some hospitals charge for wi-fi and others have no access at all.
The government has set no deadline for the plans but expects the NHS to be "digital and paperless" by 2020.
The move is a recommendation from a government-commissioned report on improving the use of online technology in the health service.
Money for the service is being provided from a £1bn technology fund. More...