The NHS is currently facing the biggest ﬁnancial challenge in its existence. It’s all credit to the commitment of the individuals on the ground that most areas of the NHS service are running well. However, we are constantly seeing signs of the crisis the system is under as a result of government ﬁnancial constraints, in areas such as hospital care, A&E and GP services. There are many reasons for the service being under such a strain, but the key elements are:
- Lifestyle factors (alcohol, smoking, poor diet and so forth)
- The change in public expectations (from advice on healthcare management through to mental health and social care, contraception, antenatal and maternity services, vaccination programmes and the fast, efficient processing of our medication and appointments)
- An ageing population
- Accident and Emergency departments
- Rising costs.
As a result, more speciﬁc technology related beneﬁts can support these key elements:
- Precision Medicine. Genomics and precision medicine can target treatment interventions at speciﬁc sub-groups of patients, potentially making them more effective and opening up new therapeutic possibilities.
- Remote Care. It improves access to health care services, enabling patient needs to be addressed as early as possible and potentially making systems more efficient.
- Technology-supported self-management. It helps to empower patients to better manage and understand their data can provide new ways for the NHS to learn, improve and generate new research – alongside artiﬁcial intelligence (AI), which is providing new analytical capacity for diagnosing patients, effective triage and logistics.
Advances in Medicine and Technology
If there is an upside to the austerity measures being imposed by government, it seems to be the huge advancements in medicine and surgery, alongside IT and technological innovations that are being made. This means that there is a wealth of ideas and efficiencies that are being experimented and piloted to help support even better patient care at lower costs. In turn, the successful elements of this will help to assure good models of excellent working practices continue and improve.