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The digitisation of health and care ecosystem in the UK

An opinion piece by Santosh Sahu
Santosh Sahu

The UK continues to lead the way in delivery innovation for food and retail through digitisation. Examples of this innovation include deliveries booked via a digital platform from a range of devices whilst on the go, at a time that is dictated by the customer, and at a cost that is comparable to next day delivery.

Now is the time to consider bold moves in delivery for other UK sectors that might be struggling to keep up with the pace of change e.g. the healthcare offered by the NHS.

The NHS are in the media regularly when it comes to budget restrictions and they aren’t known for their fluidity when it comes to digital innovation. Through the adaptation of technology that has already been successful in retail, the NHS could improve patient care, improve productivity and reduce costs.

Increasingly, the healthcare industry is challenged by the following key areas:

Patient data protection
The efficient delivery of care
Reduced dependency on GPs
Local pharmacies centred around the community
The increased demand for in-home care facilities

Although these challenges are currently pushing the NHS to work internally to find answers (alongside the use of NHS Digital), there is a real opportunity to take advantage of the growing UK start-up market to support them with solutions that will bring the NHS and local pharmacies into the digital age, as well as creating a more aligned and efficient model.

On the dot are one of those growing UK start-ups mentioned above and we can see the potential to bring retail and fast food delivery innovation into the healthcare sector.

⏳By reducing the time it takes to deliver prescriptions to patients: –

Platform technology could be integrated with an electronic prescription system which can automatically allow patients to choose a local pharmacy that suits them, and enables delivery from that pharmacy at a time and location chosen by the patient.  

💊Local and national pharmacies can reduce prescription delivery costs and improve profitability: –

Through digitisation, pharmacy fulfilment and POS systems can offer patients faster and simpler prescription ordering. These orders can then be fulfilled from a central hub, or local pharmacy, therefore ensuring economies of scale through delivery. 

👩‍⚕️Timely care made available to nurses that visit care and patient homes: –

Technology could also be integrated with local hospitals to ensure delivery and collection capabilities are efficient, and therefore the visits made by healthcare professionals is also efficient.

Given the unprecedented rate of innovation we are currently seeing, it is only a matter of time until more patient consultations with their GP are carried out via video calls, diagnoses are completed online or in the comfort of a patient’s home, and prescriptions are delivered at a time and location of the patient’s choosing. UK start-ups can offer a solution to not only the NHS, but others in the healthcare sector, to lead the way in digital innovation to reduce costs in a timely manner and, most importantly, improve patient care.

To find out more about our Pharmacy to Home offering click here.

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