In the modern era technology plays a vital role in everyday life; it helps to organise, plan, schedule, socialise and entertain. Now, a common tool found on laptops, phones and tablets will be used in conjunction with the NHS to provide better services to patients.
Skype is still relatively new in the world of technology and made its name in 2003. Eight years later, Microsoft bought the company for $8.5 million, helping to expand Skye’s outreach. With an estimated 1.8 million Skype users in the UK, David Cameron has announced that is time to use the video tool in conjunction with the NHS.
Cameron said: “Back in October, I said I wanted to make it easier for people to get appointments that fit in around a busy working week and family commitments. There has been a great response from doctors, with lots of innovative ideas, and we will now see over seven million patients given weekend and evening opening hours, alongside more access to their family doctor on the phone, via email or even Skype. This is an important step and good news for patients.”
The Prime Minister unveiled the £50m scheme six months ago to help increase the likelihood of patients receiving a booking with their GPs and to relieve pressure from the emergency services. One in 10 surgeries will offer patients the choice of seeing a GP at evenings and weekends, booking appointments online, receiving electronic prescriptions and having check-ups over Skype.
Doctors were invited to apply for funding, and demand for the money means seven million patients at over a 1,000 practices will benefit from the trials from next month. There will be funding for personalised care of nearly 800,000 older and more vulnerable patients, who will receive same-day access to a GP and a named GP responsible for their care when needed
More surgeries will offer seven-day openings combined with 8am-8pm appointments. There will also be a heavier use of Skype, email and phone consultations. For modern day medicine the movement marks another step towards delivering healthcare to wider audiences at a faster and more flexible rate.
Department of Health Under Secretary Dr Dan Poulter relishes the embrace between healthcare and technology, saying: “We need to harness and better utilise more modern types of technology such as telehealth and mobile technology to support people better in their own homes and to drive down the cost of care.”
Along with mobile technology, telehealth, Skype and tablets, there are many modern aspects of technology our generation consider second nature in their healthcare lives. Social media is a clear representative of the relationship modern day technology has with healthcare.
Twitter is easily navigated to help find health and fitness tips, whilst there are a growing number of medical experts taking to the social network to offerpinpoint advice. Twitter is a tool that can be used in healthcare for live help and sharp responses. The NHS twitter feed will reply to patients about services and experiences whilst offering a general helping hand to all enquiries.
A real futuristic feature taking to hospitals is the role of medical robots. The robots are each individually created for varying purposes from complex surgery such as removing plaque from arteries to simplistic features like helping bed bound patients to eat. There are even robots designed to offer patient-to-doctor interface within large hospitals to allow doctors to stay in one place. Standard routines such as monitoring heart rates and full body check-ups can all take place via the robot.
How do you use modern day technology ?