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Sep 21, 2017

Industry insights,

The NHS move to smart tech

Last week saw the annual NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, and whilst early digital adoption doesn’t automatically spring to mind when thinking about our much loved national healthcare; various speakers, from all over the country, collaborated to ensure the NHS outlined their plans for digital innovation.  

In fact, digital enhancements could be seen throughout the majority of the demonstrations. Some solutions were aimed at addressing a specific issue, such as providing adequate care to patients in rural locations, where satellite technology could, for example, help the ambulance to communicate better, or be able to share critical information with the closest hospital, ahead of the patient’s arrival. 

In addition, a clear move that has been outlined by many people is how digital can be used to reach out to individuals and provide well-needed services. This included things such as app technology for both booking GP appointments and for new or first time mothers to ensure they have important information at their fingertips. It makes perfect sense to start considering new and innovative ways to communicate and engage with people, especially as more people than ever before now use smart phone technology. The NHS know that engaging with people on a medium that they prefer to use, will be half the battle in preventative campaigns and achieving their future targets. These could include issues such as reducing obesity and the impact that obesity related illnesses have on our healthcare system. 

The use of digital to enhance patient experience also featured highly on the agenda. This comes only a few months after the NHS experienced one of the UK’s most prolific cyber-attacks, and so whatever digital advancements they plan to use, they will have to make sure that online security, features just as high in their plans for the future. Otherwise, they will be putting patient care, as well as their data, at risk of being compromised.