When winter is coming and healthcare systems are overloaded, could health tech be the answer?
Will Culliford | | Longer Read
At a Glance
- Many healthcare systems go through periods of increased pressure, particularly in the winter months
- Advances in diagnostic testing can reduce the number of patients receiving unnecessary care
- Technological assistance can support overburdened diagnostic professionals with some tasks
- To implement new technologies, open-mindedness and collaboration are vital
Barely a week goes by during winter when the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) isn’t in the headlines. Increasing wait times, more cancelled operations, and higher bed occupancy rates have led to the term “winter pressures” to define this seasonal crunch point, during which the NHS struggles amid spikes in clinic appointments and hospital admissions for illnesses such as influenza (1).
Short of resolving the long-term issues facing the NHS – funding, workforce, an aging population, and the impact of chronic conditions and comorbidities – there is little talk about how to alleviate these pressures (2). The focus is on the problems, rather than solutions.
So what can be done to help?
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