Since its establishment back in 1948, the NHS has grown to become one of the most important and iconic institutes in Britain, often being labelled as a ‘national treasure’.
But, with an increasingly ageing population and a higher demand for its services, combined with a decline in the amount of spending, ever more innovative ways must be developed to ensure the NHS continues to grow with cost effective solutions.
Last week, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock delivered a speech to the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, about the vision to help people make healthier choices and put care into their own hands.
Is Digital Health the answer to prevention?
The UK currently spends £97bn of public money on treating disease and only £8bn preventing them. This is unsustainable – and as the saying goes, Prevention is always better than cure.
'Prevention also saves lives and saves money.'
By giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to take responsibility for their health, we can empower them to take better care of their own health.
Digital Health tools give people this responsibility, allowing people to make decisions that suit them and allowing people to take control of their own health and wellbeing.
By using Digital Health, we can prevent people from becoming patients in the first place.
Digital health can bring huge benefits to both patients and clinicians. It allows patients to manage long-term conditionsthemselves, and to keep a track of their health without needing to visit a GP. This, in turn, frees up much-needed appointments for other people. The remote monitoring devices track their health from home, aiding the support that external care teams can offer.
Digital health can also aid the patient in understanding their condition more thoroughly and have greater input into their own care.
More benefits of digital health include:
- Education that can be easily distributed and accessed when it's needed
- Better and less time consuming communication with healthcare professionals
- A better picture of an individuals lifestyle and health using data from mobile and wearable technologies
- Allow patients to accurately track exercises, routines and changes in behaviour
- Inform patients about their condition/s on a day to day basis without extra work from healthcare professionals
If we can create engaging digital health tools that educate the population and support them to making changes to their lifestyles for the better of their health, then we can help prevent a number of conditions. However, the NHS and other healthcare professionals need to be very careful and make sure they team up with the right software developers.
Creating a digital health tool requires extra considerations to creating a standard piece of software and not all developers will have the expertise or connections to create a genuinely useful tool. We hear it time and time again from our clients, they have a brilliant concept for a digital health tool, they go out and find a developer, they get so far with the project and then find that the software is not stable enough, or considerations have not been taken about security or how users engage with data.
This is why Evolyst exists. We are here to support healthcare professionals in building tools that can have a genuine effect on peoples lives.
If you are interested in learning more about some of the steps involved in creating your Digital Health tool then take a look at our free guide.