How tech is helping us take control of our health
It doesn’t take a genius to recognise that one of our most prized national institutions is genuinely creaking at the seams. It’s becoming increasingly easy to imagine a day when the slice of your salary currently going out as National Insurance flips over to being a direct debit paying for your (obligatory) private health care. But are there winds of change blowing that might yet save such a pride-worthy service?
In short: Yes.
Real change often only happens when a number of things occur simultaneously. It appears to be the case that we’re currently witnessing the following stars aligning:
1) People are realising that they can use some of their discretionary income to pay to increase the convenience and quality ‘health care’. We’ve paid for gym membership for decades. Why not pay for a blood test you can take at home with results provided via a website?
2) Prevention better than cure? We all know it is. The reality, though, is the NHS can barely afford to patch you up when you get to the point of needing curing. Thanks to the ‘internet of things’ (IoT) onslaught and the associated popularity of wearables, consumers are beginning to see the long-term value in paying for goods and services that create ‘wellness’ [sic].
3) Health and medical hardware is becoming smaller, cheaper and faster. Fitness trackers may offer limited utility for now but it won’t be long before you’ll be clipping blood test devices to your iPhone and running your own tests whenever you fancy it.
Summary: If you want to find out whether you’re at risk of a heart attack or want to find out why you’re tired all the time, you don’t have to take time off work, sit in a GPs surgery for 3 hours only to told ‘we’ll be in touch if we see something concerning’... then with a few clicks and a few £’s you can do it all at home and track your results over time as you make changes.
Health tech is about to have it’s time in the sun.. and it might just happen in time to save the NHS.
Think I’m talking nonsense? Here are some links you might find interesting:
Google designed a new wearable that allows doctors to monitor patients away from hospital.
Wearables are sexy, but the smart money in health startups is elsewhere with a rise in software provision.
Glooko’s new device Bluetooth enables popular glucose meter.