The NHS – it’s a bastion of Britishness, as well as a bureaucratic black hole. That latter point has finally been acknowledged by the upper echelons of the medical behemoth and they’ve come up with a plan – free Wi-Fi across all NHS hospitals and wearables for patients.
Covering hospitals with Wi-Fi would let the NHS use wearables to monitor our vital stats while we’re in hospital. Diabetics, for example, could wear small skin sensors that track blood sugar, remotely alerting doctors of potential problems before they become… problems.
For the doctors and nurses looking after us, Wi-Fi would let them use tablets to cut down on paper waste, get things done on the move, and save time. According to the NHS, admin work takes up 70% of a junior doctor’s time, so using a tablet on the move would leave more time to spend with patients.
The new plans for Wi-Fi and wearables show how advanced mobile technology has become. A lot of the vital signs the NHS would want to track can be monitored by the standard tech we can buy off the shelf.
The Motorola Moto 360, for example, keeps an eye on your heart rate, your activity, how well you sleep and more. And the next generation of smartwatches could easily use new sensors that monitor blood sugar, hydration and calories eaten.
The latest ideas from the NHS are part of a much bigger strategy to embrace technology. Medical files are going digital, so if you’re on a weekend away in Manchester and end up in hospital the doctors can see your notes from London. And you’ll soon be able to book GP appointments online, which could save up to £160 million a year.