We all know the challenges the NHS faces – a £30 billion funding gap, an ageing population, lifestyle-related ill health and growing constraints on budgets. In a nutshell, an increasing demand for services but fewer resources to deliver them.
That’s where digital health comes in.
A relatively new market, digital health uses information and communication technology to face this growing challenge. It could be by increasing efficiency in processes – administrative and medical – promoting positive health-related behaviour change, or increasing the effectiveness of therapeutic processes and procedures.
Imagine if a tiny device was embedded invisibly under your skin that could tell your smartphone your blood sugar levels, calorific intake, or even if you are in imminent danger of a heart attack. Or, imagine if you and your doctor could have real-time access to your health and lifestyle data and perform a consultation and diagnosis completely remotely.
This technology is already here and just scratches the surface of what digital health innovation is all about. The potential in this area is huge and largely unexploited. It’s going to take time, patience, research and teamwork to create the efficient cost-reducing models and products that will bring about the step change we need.