UK Prime Minister Theresa May has recently unveiled 136-page NHS document at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and announced a long term plan to invest additional Euro 20.5 billion above 2018-19 levels in the next five years. According to the document, technology enabled health services are going to play a central role in the health service delivery in the next couple of years. While plans to go digital are not new but the document provides a blueprint and investment necessary for the successful deployment of digital services.
The plan aims to give citizens the right to online GP consultations by ensuring that clinicians get digital access to patient records. The patients will be able to interact with their doctors from anywhere. The document also gives enhanced emphasis to protect privacy of patients by giving the control of data in their own hands. The healthcare industry is undergoing metamorphosis with the advent of plethora of AI and machine learning applications in healthcare. The document proposes to leverage this new opportunity by creating a dynamic & world class health IT industry and supportive ecosystem for innovators and developers.
Interoperability and accessibility of data will be ensured by mandatory compliance of technology standards as published by Department of Health and Social Care in digital technology and data strategy document. A new NHS app will provide the patients with access to their digital health records and for patients with long term illnesses the access to the summary of records by the year 2020. Over 1, 00,000 women will be able to access their maternity records by the end of the current year.
The plan wants to increase health expenditure to average 3.4% in the next five years from the 2.2% average of last five years. Prime Minister Theresa may said that the heightened expenditure on healthcare would be possible because of Brexit which will save Britain vast amounts of sum which it sent to Brussels. The plan further aims to ensure that three fourths of cancers are diagnosed, a hike from the current half. The program will be pioneer as it will offer genome sequencing for cancer diagnosed children so that targeted treatments could be provided accurately.
Other notable announcements include genetic testing for people with exceedingly dangerous inherited cholesterol levels, smart inhalers for patients with respiratory disorders to effectively monitor their condition. The plan wants to harness the potential of AI in diagnosis. There are provisions for specialized training to the staff for using the new digital applications.
Investment in mental healthcare has been hiked to Euro 2.3 billion per year which will make sure that 2 million more patients suffering from anxiety, depression and other disorders will get help over the next decade.