With NHS resources more stretched than ever and funding cuts a stark reality across several areas of the social care sector, it’s more important than ever that healthcare and social care start to work effectively together.
Technology will be key to achieving this, offering the potential for workers in both sectors to save time and increase their understanding of their patients’ needs. Ultimately, the possibility these technologies offer is to dramatically improve the standard of care offered to elderly patients.
Here are three of the frontrunners that we think you’ll see a lot more of in 2017.
Cera’s technologies allow peace of mind for loved ones and care workers alike. Their solutions range from sensors and cameras that can be fitted in a patient’s home to alert the caregiver of any incidents, to ‘smart home’ devices like automatic lights, heating and door locks to assist a patient’s daily routine. Cera also offer an online reporting service. The social worker updates the platform with any key notes from their visits, and the family or healthcare team can check in any time to see how the patient is doing.
The ambition and scope of Babylon is staggering. The company aims to use AI (artificial intelligence) to carry out triage and initial consultations on patients with non-life-threatening conditions.
The platform uses the data from thousands of other patients to assess the symptoms and judge the urgency of a patient’s situation. It will match them to a condition, before issuing an appropriate prescription or referring on to a specialist.
Sound too far out to be true? Babylon begin 2017 with a trial in North London, where over 1.2 million patients will have the option to contact the app’s ‘chatbot’ instead of dialling their old school, real life doctor.
The app does also allow patients to live chat with human GPs, and to order home delivery prescriptions, creating time savings across the board.
DeepMind takes artificial intelligence one step further, using machine learning to improve how illnesses are diagnosed and treated. By collating a huge amount of data they develop algorithms that can quickly analyse conditions and advise doctors and surgeons of the best step forward. The idea is that doctors’ time will be freed up for patient interaction, education and research.
Though still in early stages, the DeepMind team are currently carrying out research into eye scans and radiotherapy treatments.
Innovations for 2017
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