Letter to the editor
One aspect that is overlooked in the NHS England Five-Year Forward View (“Crisis in the NHS”, leading article, Oct 23) is the significant role that digital technology can — and must — play in providing sustainable and affordable care. Targeted use of a range of social media and other low-cost technologies (such as apps to monitor diet and exercise) can be used to change behaviours and encourage healthy lifestyles. Further investment in telecare technology can immediately support the provision of sustainable at-home care to our ageing population. In the long term, technology such as wearable patches that monitor vital statistics will enable practitioners to provide significantly better focused care. With smart use of digital technology, a better NHS is possible without blowing the budget.
Andy Vernon is a healthcare expert at PA Consulting Group
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