Healthcare has a new best friend… technology. For the last 5 years, technology has been the main catalyst for change within the healthcare industry and directly improved both the patient and provider experience. From remote monitoring devices to Apple HealthKit, electronic medical records to glucose monitoring contact lenses, technology has played the leading role in creating a new Digital Health ecosystem.
So how exactly is technology changing Healthcare?
Technology is changing healthcare in many ways, I believe one of the biggest changes we are seeing today is access … technology is dramatically improving access to healthcare services in the UK, across Europe, the US and many parts of the world. At Zesty we are laser focused on improving access to healthcare. For the first time in history, patients across the UK can choose and book from thousands of NHS and Private healthcare appointments everyday on their smartphone, tablet or computer. Zesty is transforming access to healthcare by addressing the needs of both sides of the market, supply from practices and demand from patients in order to make booking dentist, doctor, physio and other healthcare appointments as easy as booking a flight, hotel or restaurant.
Why focus on improving access to healthcare?
We believe technology can act as a catalyst for change and help reach the hardest to reach sections of society. Working with organisations such as Guys & St Thomas Hospital Trust, Zesty has been able to offer web and mobile appointment booking services, which has directly resulted in a new type of patient attending sexual health clinic appointments at two of Guys & St Thomas Hospital Trust clinics. The new type of patient booking and attending appointments are young girls, gay men, young muslim men and women and recent EU immigrants to London.
Is the government recognising how technology is changing healthcare?
Yes without a doubt, for example on Monday 19th January 2015, PICTFOR, The Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (the leading all party group in the technology sector in the Houses of Parliament) held an evening conference addressing the growing role of technology entitled “Digital Health: How technology can transform the NHS”.
The conclusion from the event attended by MP’s, senior NHS figures, digital health entrepreneurs, journalists and healthcare professionals was that “the use of technology to improve health outcomes has the potential to transform the face of the NHS. There is a broad consensus that the NHS has to change the way it operates, and technology can play a significant part in delivering better patient outcomes, whilst spending less.”
To conclude, technology is changing all areas of healthcare and the UK should be proud of the positive developments we see every day. An excellent illustration showing the scale and breadth of innovation can be illustrated by Stephen Davies and his colleagues at Bionicly. Their “digital health hype cycle” is a very good visual representation of how technology is currently at different stages of development and impact. From google glass helping surgeons in the operating room to electronic medical records helping patients with long term illness, it is clear to see technology is touching all areas of healthcare in a positive way.
By Lloyd Price, Co Founder, Zesty.
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