Can the NHS save billions with its new tech features?

In an effort to reduce the strain placed on the NHS, patients will soon have access to mobile apps whereby they’ll be able to self-monitor their conditions. The plans have been commissioned by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

This is just one recommendation outlined for the NHS over the coming years, with free Wi-Fi also expected to be delivered nationwide by 2017. Other suggestions include online appointment bookings, repeat prescriptions and access to records.

In fact, this online presence for the NHS is seen as a big step towards taking away mass pressure from the national service. There are of course those with doubt, especially considering Labour’s national patient record’s proposal was a long and drawn out failure. However, the Conservatives believe in five years the NHS will be able to save billions of pounds.

With free Wi-Fi all over the UK, NHS England suggest patients will be able to monitor their condition and take part in “social networks that can support recovery.” This will in turn take the burden from doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff. According to the experts, these basic tasks take up some 70% of a junior doctor’s working day. With e-prescriptions, medication errors can also be reduced by some 50%.

The report from Lane Fox, who has been tasked with improving the NHS, suggests in her report that older and disabled people need to take advantage of the Internet. Her report states: “Everyone — irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation — should have equal opportunity to benefit from the best and most up to date medical and allied services available.”

“In the network age, universality, equity and quality must be at the very centre of how we build, adopt and scale new technologies in health. No one must be left behind.”

With £1bn worth of investment into health technology, Jeremy Hunt claims: “Patients and staff can access the services they need, helping to free up time and reduce costs.”

What do you think of the investment that’ll be given to the NHS over the coming years? Will these initiatives take off or be a flop? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the proposals, so please comment below.

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