For years now, the future of the NHS and its ability to meet the needs of patients has been a controversial talking point. Speculation has intensified even further under Theresa May’s government, particularly amid rumours that the government is keen on selling off NHS land and services to private bidders.
The issue has been further complicated by Brexit, with the latest reports suggesting that the NHS could yet be exported and franchised across the globe in order to generate revenue for the flailing health service.
Despite these challenges, the NHS remains one of the biggest employers in the world, ranking fifth on this metric back in 2012. It’s therefore imperative that it’s able to grow and achieve greater security in the future, with new technologies likely to play a pivotal role in this.
Introducing EPR and Higher Quality Care
The NHS has already begun to benefit from the application of advanced technologies, with a clear focus having been placed on remote treatment and real-time data sharing.
In terms of the latter, innovators such as Servelec have developed an advanced EPR system known as RiO. This electronic patient record solution is currently being utilised by thousands of healthcare professionals in the modern age, in a bid to deliver a higher quality of care and eliminate human error.
The primary benefit of this system is that it provides a seamless electronic patient record that is largely immutable, while this is also accessible through smartphones and tablet devices.
As well as improving the efficiency of data collation and the accuracy of patient information, this also promotes multi-agency collaboration between NHS outlets, social care and general practitioners.
What About Telemedicine and Remote Treatments?
Systems such as RiO also enable healthcare practitioners to access patient records remotely and in real-time, and this leads us on to another innovation that is set to shape the future of the NHS.
We’re talking about telemedicine, which has already been popularised through private healthcare such as Operation Smile.
While this is not suitable for all conditions or ailments, it’s capable of treating some patients remotely and in the comfort of their own home. In conjunction with EPR technology, it has the potential to create an holistic schedule of care that is decidedly patient-centric.
If we apply telemedicine to the NHS, it’s clear that the health service would be able to significantly scale up the number of patients treated without compromising on the efficiency or quality of care.
NHS trusts such as the state-of-the-art Cancer Centre at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ have already begun to take note, with video technology helping to make remote diagnostics possible.