We’re in a new month, so naturally, that means we had a brand spankin’ new Tech For Good Talks for you all! If you couldn’t make it, don’t you worry because that is what this handy dandy blog is going to cover. Our fearless leaders, and wonderful hosts, Rich and Gabby did such a stellar job at talking us all through “The Future of Healthcare.”
The current healthcare landscape
In the best of times, the topic of healthcare has proven to be a pretty hot topic, but throw in a global pandemic, and it makes it all the more of an essential conversation to be had.
The world as we all knew it completely changed in March, and not to be dramatic, but in many ways irrevocably so. Job roles, schooling and entire industries had to flip the way they operated on a dime. Thanks to technology, these massive changes were able to happen, but also in some sectors, we’ll see that there is no going back.
Healthcare has proven that to be extraordinarily true. In the 7 months since COVID-19 hit, it is reported that 78% of clinics have increased in their digital support and offerings than what they did at the beginning of the year. That massive leap has allowed patients to get virtual care that they otherwise might not have been able to without putting themselves or an office full of healthcare workers at risk to be seen.
It has completely streamlined the process of seeing the GP. And that is only the tip of the iceberg of all the changes that have happened right before our eyes!
The experts weigh-in
Steve Aylwin, Head of Workforce, Transformation and Digital Workforce at the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, is one such expert that we were lucky to pick his brain as well as Georgina Kyriakoudes, CEO of Dcentric Health – both of which are doing really interesting things with technology already so it was fantastic to get their insight.
We couldn’t start the interview without asking about Covid-19 and how it has impacted their roles. Georgina talked about how we have most things at a touch of a button, from music to social media, but it is clear that health has been left behind, especially when it comes to medical records, but this is most likely because we take our health for granted… until we have a problem! Of course, Covid-19 brought this all to the surface as there isn’t a person in the world that hasn’t been impacted, directly or indirectly, by the virus. However, this has meant that Dcentric Health has been more relevant than ever, which although not positive circumstances, it has meant that health has come to the forefront.
Steve agreed that they have seen a significant increase in speed in terms of implementing digital solutions. What were 3 to 5 year plans, have now been delivered in 3 months at pace and the biggest part of this has been giving people access to healthcare services. The landscape has clearly changed, with significant impact for our workforce, so the layer of digital capability has needed to improve but what we have been focusing on is how our workforce don’t just function, but flourish with these systems. We are seeing a lot more apps being bought in to support people and their conditions, along with their healthcare professional, which is a really positive step as they offer so many benefits in terms of catching data from the patient.
Georgina added that even though we have been able to move all these technologies forward and getting better access, people’s attitudes now in the middle of an emergency situation, may change as we move forward, especially around GDPR. We have seen this with contract tracing apps as some people are not comfortable with that!
The future of healthcare
It was great to hear from our experts and look at the current landscape, but what does the future hold? We had a look at the most current examples of how a post contact world could look like – and whether they are hot shit… or hot air.
This is a great example of robots being used in care homes and helping tackle loneliness. There has already been a trial to increase positive mental health, wellbeing and companionship. Even though this is a lovely idea, we do feel that the technology might not be there just yet as right now this is relevant but perhaps in a few months time, the novelty will wear off.
5G remote surgery
Remote surgery is already being delivered, which is incredible to be able to perform live saving surgery, and this is forecasted to increase. But for us, there is a question around the infrastructure and actually how quickly this could happen.
Virtual reality for phobia treatment is a really interesting area as it creates an experience, however, it has to be high quality to ensure that the treatment is effective. However, we think this is a really great way to help people cope with or overcome their phobias and definitely should be used more often! P.S Watch some of the YouTube videos to see how real you think it is!
This was another Tech For Good Talks for the books! I know I say that every time, but our fabulous hosts keep outdoing themselves and making each and every event that much better than the last! Don’t believe me?! Check it out for yourself. The next event is on November 17, 3pm and will be covering Nudge Theory. Grab your free tickets here, and we will see you next month!