The Role of Digital Healthcare in the NHS

In his latest blog, CEO & Founder of Now GP’s parent company Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, discusses our status as the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator’s only telehealth provider and our ambitions to integrate our technology into the National Health Service.

lee dentith nhs digital

 

NHS Digital: It’s been a pleasure to be involved with NHS Digital at recent events, where I’ve enjoyed a number of exciting discussions with some of our fellow Accelerator partners.


I was delighted to recently come across news of a new “Accelerated Access Review” report, which recognises the role of DigitalHealth.London in accelerating the adoption of digital innovation in healthcare. This positive report is testament to the incredible work being done through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator scheme, which Now Healthcare Group (Now GP/Dr Now) is so proud to be a part of.

The report, commissioned by the government and led by an independent chair, championed the new Accelerator scheme and its ambitions to allow the NHS to embrace new technologies by linking health and care organisations with digital health innovators such as ourselves. It makes several clear recommendations on reforms to help speed up patients’ access to healthcare technologies. It’s encouraging to see that those behind the review share our ambitions to ensure that the UK becomes a world-leader in healthcare innovation through an NHS which embraces the technology that patients in today’s on-the-go society need.

businessman touching digital health screens

“This government has a strong commitment to the life sciences and to building a long-term partnership with the life sciences industry. We are determined to make the UK the best place in the world to develop new drugs and other products that can transform the health of patients.

“The report provides us with a strong basis to make the right decisions about how the health system can be adapted to meet the challenges of the future, attract inward investment, grow the thriving life science industry and use innovation to improve patient outcomes and tackle the financial pressures on the NHS.”

Health Minister Lord Prior


A recent change in circumstances have seen a similar company withdraw from the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme as it focuses its efforts on markets elsewhere. This leaves Now Healthcare Group in the luxurious position of being the singular telehealth provider to be a part of this potentially revolutionary Accelerator scheme, which is of course incredibly exciting for us as a business.

As a company we firmly believe that we are the clear market leader in this exciting telehealth industry, and I remain more confident than ever that we are truly ready and able to input our technology into the NHS to help combat many of the issues being faced by our nation’s healthcare service. Better access to technology for the NHS means better access to healthcare for its patients, and our ultimate ambition is to provide the nation with a convenient care and a more accessible health system.


You can read more of my thoughts on LinkedIn (Mr Lee Dentith), and you can also follow me on Twitter.


“mHealth Will Save the NHS”

Now Healthcare Group has been chosen to be part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Programme


About the programme

Mobile healthcare (mHealth) organisation Now Healthcare Group is one step closer to easing the burden on the NHS after being chosen to be part of the new “DigitalHealth.London Accelerator” programme.

The company behind the innovative Dr Now and Now GP smartphone apps joins an elite list of businesses looking to benefit from better engagement with the NHS and the wider health sector.

The year-long Accelerator scheme accepts only the highest potential digital health startups and businesses onto the programme. It provides tailored support to the specific needs of each business to allow them to develop their products and create real solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by the NHS.

You can read the full story in this article on the Now Healthcare Group website.

“mHealth Will Save the NHS” Through New DigitalHealth.London Accelerator

 

 


NHS Expo 2016: Hunt Announces mHealth Integration

The Now GP/Dr Now team are at today’s annual NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, where Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to announce the arrival of mHealth and app-based online health services into the NHS.

This marks a significant breakthrough for mHealth companies such as ourselves, who have long since championed the benefits that embracing technology can bring to the health service and to its patients.

Hunt will announce later today “a multi-million pound package” to expand digital services across the NHS, which will including a new online triage service to enhance the current 111 service and out of hours care.

Hunt said:

“We live in the age of the smartphone, and we want the NHS to reflect that. Our new plans will make it easier for patients to get the medical support and information they need, and should encourage more of us to use the growing range of online NHS services.”

Services such as our Now GP/Dr Now mHealth can be white-labelled and custom-built for NHS CCGs and surgeries, helping them to combat the problem of waiting times and reduce the strain on the healthcare system and out of hours services. By embracing mHealth apps, the NHS will also be more able to deliver its goal of seven day access by pooling qualified GPs, nurses and specialists into a convenient and accessible healthcare app.

Our app connects patients with independent NHS doctors who deliver advice and diagnosis via remote video consultations. We also have an NHS-registered pharmacy which is able to deliver medicines directly to a patient’s home and serve repeat NHS prescriptions.

As the mHealth industry continues to expand, we’re turning our attention to the power of artificial intelligence, wearable technology and “big data” analytics to direct patients to the care and treatment they need. Early intervention is a key aspect of delivering effective primary care, and we want to allow patients to get the care they need at the earliest opportunity – in some cases, before they even realise they are ill themselves.

We’re delighted with the direction that the NHS is heading and its desire to utilise such innovative technology is very pleasing to see. Look out for more exciting news from Now GP/Dr Now in the near future.

If you would like a white-labelled mobile health app for your surgery or CCG, contact us at partnerships@nowhealthcaregroup.com


For the latest in healthcare and innovation, follow @NowGP and @DrNow on Twitter. 

 


Why the NHS Needs to Welcome Innovation or Face Collapse

Recently-departed Head of Monitor, David Bennett, has stated that the National Health Service cannot survive as a purely taxpayer-funded service and must look for other forms of revenue if it is to meet future demand.

In a continued effort to close the staggering NHS funding gap, a further £2 billion was injected into the service just last year, but the problems and deficit remain, with Bennett claiming that the gulf between demand and resources was actually closer to double this figure at the time. Now, he has warned Jeremy Hunt that without a further cash injection this year the NHS’s struggle to meet specific targets such as waiting time reduction would continue – “something’s got to give,” he said.

doctor holding a piggy bank

 

Something certainly does have to give, and with a recent damning assessment of Britain’s health service claiming that it is one of the worst in the world for developed countries, any further setbacks could see the NHS stand on the brink of collapse. This month’s spending round will see chief executive of the NHS Simon Stevens and Hunt attempt to secure a substantial downpayment on an extra £8 billion-a-year promised to the NHS over the next five years.

We’ve reached the stage, though, where simply throwing money at the NHS will not help to alleviate its difficulties – and taxpayers will certainly not be thrilled about having to cough up extra funds to pay for a failing service. The NHS needs to be revolutionised, not refinanced – and telehealth solutions such as Now GP are ideally placed to help the NHS avoid collapse in the coming years through integration and collaboration.


“Telehealth solutions such as Now GP are ideally placed to help the NHS avoid collapse in the coming years through integration and collaboration.”


With the ultimate aim of providing the general public with a more accessible and reliable solution to their primary healthcare needs, Now GP’s state-of-the-art remote video consultation and medicine delivery platform is already making waves in the world of UK healthcare. If integrated into the National Health Service, this will ease pressure on Britain’s healthcare in a number of ways.

Waiting times has long been one of the major flaws in the UK health system. 14 million of us now face a wait of a week or more to see a doctor – and this number continues to grow and grow. Through Now GP, patients can get to see a doctor when they need to at the touch of a button, reducing appointment waiting times and at the same time relieving pressure on our country’s A&E departments. Healthcare chiefs have recently claimed that in some areas of the UK, as much as 80% of A&E visits are unnecessary, with people urged to find alternative methods of finding a cure for their primary care concerns – this alternative is here already, and it’s called Now GP.

The innovative Now GP mobile app for iOS

 

Lack of job satisfaction amongst GPs and those in the healthcare industry has been documented regularly in recent months, with many doctors feeling that the pressures and difficulties associated with working for the NHS are no longer allowing them to enjoy their work. Now GP is aiming to give doctor’s the freedom to choose when and where they want to work, helping to rejuvenate the careers of hundreds of healthcare professionals who feel short-staffed, under-supplied and overworked thanks to the NHS’s overstretched service.

To meet the challenges it faces head on, the NHS needs to react and adapt to change, or else the quality of care that patients receive will fall. Getting better health value for patients of course means improving productivity – but improving productivity doesn’t mean dedicated doctors, nurses and managers working even longer and harder. It means everyone working together, embracing the amazing innovation we have at our fingertips and working in a different, more rewarding and smarter way.