The NHS and technology: How innovation is revolutionizing healthcare (free PDF)
Artificial intelligence and robots, IoT, virtual and augmented reality, and wearables—all are innovative technologies that could potentially boost healthcare and productivity across the NHS. This ebook looks at how these technologies are being implemented and their current and future impact on health services.
From the ebook:
For the most part, the National Health Service (NHS) remains obstinately un-joined up. One example: A friend recently phoned the hospital to get some more medicine, but the nurse didn’t have access to the relevant paper notes, which had already been sent back to the GP.
‘Why don’t you know what dose you were on?’ the nurse asked, rather accusingly, struggling to work out the likely prescription. ‘Well, why don’t you?’ the frustrated patient shot back.
The sort of seamless click-and-collect experience that shoppers expect when dealing with a retailer are a long way from the daily reality of the NHS, where patients find themselves repeating the same information over and over again, dealing with lost files and failures to communicate.
Beyond being just irritating, the lack of joined-up systems across the NHS is holding back progress and can be positively dangerous.
In a recent speech, the newly appointed Health Secretary Matt Hancock painted a grim picture of the current state of technology within the NHS. How hospitals each operate dozens of systems that don’t talk to each other, while GPs, social care, pharmacies, and community care use another entirely different set of systems. System crashes are a regular occurrence, he admitted, as the health service clings to technologies long abandoned by everyone else.
“The NHS is one of the biggest buyers of fax machines on the planet. And it’s clunky, clunky, clunky,” he said. “And the net result is not just scarce resources wasted but countless hours of clinical staff spent trying to work broken systems, patients being given sub-optimal care because the systems didn’t communicate, and ultimately lives lost.”