The digital healthcare market
Over the past year, there has been a significant increase in interest, demand and uptake of digital healthcare. Tech companies, clinicians and patients are all noticing the road to digitisation. Unsurprisingly, all want to be on it.
The growing support is welcomed by most. Technology is not new, but it will be a new addition to healthcare. Recent stories have focused on the numerous fax machines within NHS hospitals and the stacks of paper records. Where other industries have been ‘going paperless’ and embracing cloud services, the NHS has had other challenges to face such as the ageing population and staffing shortages. The task ahead is to drive the NHS into the digital age. The secretary of state for health and social care, Matt Hancock, started his role last summer stating one of his main priorities is to introduce more technology to the NHS:
“More than £400 million will go towards new technology in hospitals which make patients safer, make every pound go further and help more people access health services at home. It will be another major step along the road to full provider digitisation.”
When you think about it, personalised applications for healthcare have been present for years. The Fitbit was launched twelve years ago in 2007, encouraging users to become more active. The ‘Health App’ on the iPhone has been there since 2014, tracking daily steps, and within the last 18 months, GP applications such as Push Doctor and Babylon (see our previous blog) have come to the forefront. Technology is creating an environment where it is simple and easy to take charge of your own care, wherever you are.
However, current NHS IT systems are varied, and some are reported as being clunky and difficult to use. In July 2017 a story broke that doctors were using Snapchat to send patient scans to colleagues. This instantly raised concerns surrounding the security of patient data but also shows that clinicians need – and expect – more sophisticated systems in the workplace. As the Liberal Democrat MP Dr Julian Huppert, said: “The digital revolution has largely bypassed the NHS”.
Digital healthcare trends
Last year we saw a push for updated systems from the government, healthcare clinicians and patients. More patients signed up to online GP services for convenience and Scotland announced a national update of Microsoft systems and the promise of migration to the latest technologies in the NHS.
Here at Verita, we welcome the growing demand for digital healthcare within the NHS and independent healthcare providers. With the goal in improving overall patient safety and quality of care, Verita is proud to have launched a new brand of healthcare technology called Eva. The first technical application within the brand, Eva investigations, is an application for clinicians and managers in healthcare organisations to investigate serious incidents. Currently, there are circa 65,000 incidents per year that are within the moderate or severe harm category and therefore must be investigated. Front line staff are doing these investigations on top of the day job, with limited access to training and resource. We have built Eva to ensure that these important investigations are carried out to the highest standard and that staff are supported along the way.
Digital healthcare 2019
This cloud-based technology also meets the highest levels of data protection standards set by the UK government today, so users and patients can rest assured that their data is protected.
At the beginning of 2018 we wrote a blog about how it would be a year for applications in healthcare. As we start the year of 2019 we can appreciate that the push for digitisation is only growing stronger. Now that the NHS has the increasing support for digitisation from Matt Hancock, clinicians and patients themselves, we look forward to the year ahead and the growth of our own brand, Eva, in the healthcare sector.