The digital evolution is happening so the question is why is it not happening at pace in healthcare? Digital healthcare technology (DHT) has the power to address some of the biggest challenges the NHS faces. One of the barriers is people’s sensitivity to having their data collected and shared. But better data will lead to better digital innovations which will lead to better diagnosis, treatment, and management. So, in the end the question we all need to ask ourselves is whether we are willing to share our data to save lives.
To get the most from new and evolving tools, the NHS needs to become an environment that supports and promotes innovation. The NHS is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. In England alone around 7 million people are awaiting elective procedures, which is the largest backlog since records began, and it lacks the human and financial resources to catch up. Digital health tools can change this narrative by supporting the accessible and efficient diagnosis, treatment, and management of many conditions. By managing demand for health and care services it has the potential to improve patient and carer experiences while relieving workforce pressures.
In the coming years DHT will inevitably become a greater part of the service the NHS offers. As an organisation it has the potential to become a world leader in incubating and rolling out tech innovations that improve patient outcomes. Industry’ willingness to invest will no doubt be a measure of the NHS’ ability to create a favourable landscape for DHT.