The technology behind our NHS
With the snap General Election a month away, one of the biggest issues being discussed by parliamentary candidates and voters alike is the NHS. It’s a service the clear majority of UK citizens use and covers all kinds of areas, including medication, operations, mental health and social care. A lot of what the NHS does is made possible by technology, but how it’s funded is in doubt.
Estimates suggest that cuts may be made to the service because of a potential £600m deficit. This highlights the need for greater funding, with technology needed to improve standards of care, from operating theatres to GP surgeries.
An ageing population dictates that care for older people should take priority. The ever-growing crisis in adult social care means that any innovations will need to deliver value for money. One example of this is Patient Online, which allows older patients to access their GP without leaving home. It allows people to book appointments, order medicine and ask questions via smartphones.
Regardless of who wins the election in the coming month, efficiency savings are needed to keep the NHS from falling further into the danger zone. Aside from new programmes, the components used in healthcare equipment can play a role in cutting down costs.
DC-DC converters by XP Power are integral in supplying power to machines such as MRI scanners, as well as chargers for defibrillators. In an efficient way, they convert one level of voltage to another, making appliances safe to use for doctors, nurses and surgeons.
Without essential components like these, the NHS as we know it could teeter ever closer to the brink of collapse. As part of chargers, they enable ambulance drivers to get to emergencies with fully-charged equipment that can save lives.
Older people who rely on the NHS for medication and other services such as free vaccinations may see the way in which they receive healthcare change for good. Aside from the rolling out of new schemes to divert patients away from surgeries, new apps are being developed as well.
Diagnosis of diseases such as kidney failure is being made easier through working alongside big tech companies. A notable example of this is a joint project between Google and the Royal Free Hospital in London, based on Google’s DeepMind project.
Together, they have created a system where doctors can get health updates on patients. This makes it easier for medical staff to intervene when something is wrong. Advancements like these may need extra funding to get off the ground, which will depend heavily on the outcome on Thursday 8th June.