The latest developments for advancing healthcare technology
Digital health encompasses communication via apps and social media, to wearable technology & medical devices. As the demand for high quality healthcare rises and technology progresses in leaps and bounds, patients are turning to digital tools to manage their own health and wellbeing.
Healthcare professionals are also increasingly searching for new technology that can provide effective solutions to manage their time more efficiently. Indeed, 79% of doctors surveyed as part of the Indextra research agreed that the greater availability of digital tools would help free up their time and resources for those patients who require urgent care and 84% of doctors agree that the rise of healthcare technology could help patients by optimizing their time.
Whether patients are using digital tools for diet management, monitoring their activity levels or simply being able to book GP appointments at the touch of a button – they want to be able to access care when, where and how they need it. The call for more readily accessible apps are revolutionising patient care; it is no wonder that the UK mobile health market is now worth around £250 million.[i]
The need for improved digital health has also been recently set out in guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; demonstrating it is top on the agenda for organisations. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published new standards, which set out the requirements needed to develop digital health technologies for the NHS, helping to accelerate uptake of products like healthcare apps.[ii]
Increased appetite for healthcare technology has meant more innovative medical apps have been released in the last year. Apps that have launched this year have focused on:
- Enabling patients and their doctors to have two-way dialogue remotely, to monitor and manage diabetes and treatment
- Allowing patients to video call/ instant message their doctors direct from their Smartphone
- Providing a service that can offer patients repeat prescriptions at the touch of a button
- Providing readily accessible information and tips to those recovering from breast cancer
- Providing personalised health and wellbeing coaches on apps, from Google
- Managing chronic conditions like COPD, enabling doctors the opportunity to better predict the severity and course of patient treatment
- Monitoring heart conditions and problems on apps featured on Apple Watches
- Measuring sleep nutrition, which can be shared to patient doctors. This information can track patterns and inform future treatment
In addition to the release of new medical apps, other examples show how digital health is supporting the healthcare system in the UK. Widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and the NHS embracing “full automation” of AI, could free up as much as £12.5billion a year worth of staff time for them to spend interacting with patients.[iii] The NHS is also making all its systems digital so that patient data can be shared across different health and care settings, which will help improve individual care, speed up diagnosis and ensure that staff have access to the right patient data at the right time.[iv]
The advancement of digital tools and medical apps like Indextra can help doctors optimize their time,
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[iii] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/11/the-robot-will-see-you-now-how-ai-could-revolutionise-nhs (Last Accessed: December 2018)
[iv] https://www.england.nhs.uk/digitaltechnology/connecteddigitalsystems/ (Last Accessed: December 2018)