Is connectivity the key to enabling digital healthcare transformation? In the NHS Five Year Forward View, and subsequent Long Term Plan, harnessing technology and innovation is seen as integral to healthcare transformation.
Connectivity has a crucial role to play in enabling access to remote self-management solutions, providing remote monitoring and early diagnostics, and facilitating shared clinical-decision making. All of these can significantly ease the pressures on strained NHS resources. There are a range of innovative projects already underway where connectivity is enabling technological solutions that improve patient outcomes and deliver efficiency:
Currently, most diagnostic work is undertaken in clinics and where it does occur at home (for example multi-day heart rate monitoring) doesn’t supply real-time information – data is downloaded and returned to a clinic for subsequent analysis. The delay in collecting, submitting and reviewing data can have obvious negative consequences such as heart attacks or a worsening of conditions.
Real-time information from always-connected tools, such as wearable monitoring devices, can help put people in control of their own health as well as providing a wealth of immediate diagnostic information. However, this could also create capacity problems for an already stretched workforce – this is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be linked with connectivity to truly transform diagnostics. Exploratory projects using AI for a ‘first pass’ are in progress for two key pathways – cardiology and bowel cancer.
Projects in this area focus on connectivity at home and the automation of observations and social care support. This includes the latest developments in video consultation, wearables and remote sensing devices, and monitoring and control centre functions. These developments can enable early discharge from hospital and then to help mitigate the prospects of readmission.
5G satellite enabled connectivity has the potential to drive a 30% reduction in emergency patients being taken to hospital while simultaneously improving patient safety by allowing ambulance crews to undertake live video consultations.
As a global leader in 5G capability and satellite technology, the UK is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities connectivity presents – with further focus and investment to come from the Industrial Strategy and funding deal.
For more information on any of the projects described above, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org