The NHS seems to be constantly in the headlines due to straining services, lack of funding and overworked and exhausted staff. But could all this be improved by technology? Is the future of the NHS really in apps and 4G?
NHS ‘in a bad place’
In a recent interview via Gizmodo, the executive medical director of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust admitted that the NHS was indeed “in a bad place”.
We’ve already discussed the issues facing the future of the NHS and what affect this could have to elderly people.
However, in a seemingly honest approach to the issues, Dr Magnus Harrison has suggested that the NHS needs to embrace technology to improve the service.
Introducing connectivity into care
Dr Harrison states that the current IT available in the NHS is very poor. He suggests using 4G in the future. Even apps could be considered, such as one called ‘Intelligent Messaging’. This app provides a simple SMS service allowing patients to exchange messages with their local surgery.
GPs could use the system to automatically send appointment and prescription reminders to patients, who in turn would be able to reply immediately with any concerns, requests or cancellations. Harrison reckons that this alone could reduce missed appointments by 65 per cent, which could save the NHS a massive £585 million per year. – Gizmodo UK
It doesn’t take a brilliant imagination to picture just how effective the use of apps could be for the NHS. Patients would potentially be able to make appointments, cancel appointments, manage their own medications and receive results from their GP.
Are ‘virtual wards’ the future of the NHS?
There’s also an idea of ‘virtual wards’ to reduce the strain on the NHS,
He’s saying that patients, especially those with long-term conditions, are going to have to help take the load off doctors and nurses.
Over 65’s would be given more responsibility for their own health, using technology such as FitBit to help them lead healthy lifestyles.
What do you think of these ideas for the future of the NHS? Would you be behind a system that shifts to more personal responsibility in those over 65? Let us know on Twitter @TelecareChoice.