Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has this week revealed that the UK will become a “world leader” in health technology and allow all kinds of patients to manage their conditions and track problems all by themselves.
Hunt spoke out about the future of health and fitness technology as part of the NHS Mandate and set out a number of objectives and goals for the next few years, which included providing patients with more tools to take charge of their health, like the ability to book appointments, look at test results, order repeat prescriptions and even access past records online or via mobile. Interestingly all of these key objectives are some of the main points users identified as needing in a recent study into the world of health technology by UK-based Ruder Finn.
The plans also aim to provide GPs and patients with a way to communicate electronically and securely by either Skype or email, which would save a great deal of time and money and in most cases suffice much more than an actual appointment.
When he was speaking at an Age UK Conference, Mr Hunt said:
“People with long-term conditions see doctors and nurses more than most of us – seven out of every £10 spent on the health budget go towards supporting them. I want to free people with long-term conditions from the constant merry-go-round of doctors’ surgeries and hospitals.
“Technology can help people manage their condition at home, free up a lot of time and save the NHS money. In a world where technology increasingly helps us manage our social and professional lives, it seems logical that it should also help people manage their health.”
It’s great to see someone in such a prominent position realise the importance of health technology and how valuable it would be for giving patients of all ages more confidence and freedom to take control of their health. Let’s hope he delivers on his promises over the next few years…