NHS eyes modern tech to help patients stay healthy at home

Britain's National Health Service has announced pilot projects in seven locations to test how technology can help monitor people with long-term conditions, according to an article in The Telegraph.

Introducing the trials, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: "Over the next decade, major health gains won't just come from a few 'miracle cures,' but also from combining diverse breakthroughs in fields such as biosensors, medtech and drug discovery, mobile communications, and AI computing.

"Our new program aims to cut through the hype and test the practical benefits for patients when we bring together some of these most promising technologies."

In one pilot, sensors in appliances and even curtains will help ensure dementia patients are eating at regular times and moving normally in their homes.

Other pilots will focus on helping people with diabetes monitor their conditions more effectively and helping people with mental health problems stay in touch with support networks, according to the article. Predictive technology will help healthcare and social workers as well as police spot problems before they escalate. Other technology will help health workers spot people at risk of illness by looking at medical records, education and even weather.

Tech companies like IBM, Philips and Verily will team up with NHS to build the tools, according to The Telegraph.

NHS has set ambitious goals for using technology in providing chronic care, including the use of wearables, video link consultations, online prescription options and connected clothing. It projects that going digital could save up to $7.14 billion over the next decade.

In one project lead by an NHS organization, mobile technology significantly reduced the workloads on community nurses and primary care providers, freeing up time normally spent on routine monitoring visits to allow them to better address more pressing cases.

To learn more:
- read the article