It was announced on the 1st September that The Department of Health is to mount a new push to persuade NHS organisations in England to adopt digital services and modernise.
This initiative has moved forward in leaps and bounds in 2015 alone, as it was only last year Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said that the UK was on “the brink of personalised healthcare revolution that could scarcely have been predicted a few years ago”.
The aim is quite simple, eliminate the use of paper documents by 2020, and enable remote monitoring of patient’s long term conditions, freeing up unnecessary appointments.
At present the communication in place is fragmented between patients, fellow clinicians and health providers because the patient’s data cannot be as easily shared across the current settings. On a daily basis care is delayed due to the out dated paper systems.
National Director Tim Kelsey said: ‘Enabling digitalisation is the key to making services, safer, more efficient and more effective.’
Whilst some adaptations have already started to take shape within the NHS such as online booking systems and pedometers being distributed for those on weight management programmes, many companies are developing health gadgets that will revolutionise the sector. The JUNE bracelet is currently under development to measure our sun exposure, and the popular FitBit is currently in discussion with the private health sector to be offered as part of their packages.
By 2018 it’s estimated that 3 million people are expected to have at least three long-term medical conditions like diabetes and dementia, resulting in a growing demand on health and care services, so there are many that relying on these changes to improve the current state of the health sector to offer more beneficial services.
Nicola Mewse, Operational Director at Hales Care, said: ‘Carers time is already significantly limited with those who need critical care, and with the help of more digitalised systems carers will be able to monitor all patients remotely and create a more effective visits that cater for the patient’s current needs. The carer will know exactly the issues the patient is facing before they even arrive.’
It is predicted that going digital and embracing technology will save the NHS up to £5 billion over the next 10 years.
The hope is that under these new proposals doctors and nurses will be able to access the most up to date and often lifesaving information wherever they are in England, helping to ensure that life threatening illnesses can be diagnosed more quickly, and offering a more bespoke treatment with the data that the technology will provide.