Digital healthcare – how do you feel?

Much has been written about digital healthcare and it often polarises opinion. The two perspectives below highlight opposing views of an increasingly connected healthcare system.

Perspective 1: Digital healthcare is a bad idea and has no place in the NHS

The last few years have been an onslaught of news and information about digital in healthcare. From online booking, to seeing your medical record, e-prescriptions and online consultations, and sharing data. It’s too much. Digital has its place in home and personal entertainment. Your iPhone is good for phonecalls and text messages, music and games. You can even log your exercise. But it is not a medical device.

Really! I can See the Doctor Right Now?

You might not have noticed but something exciting has been happening in Birmingham: you can now speak to a GP when you want to, not when you’re told to!

Modality Partnership is a single GP organisation that operates across 13 different locations in Sandwell and Birmingham. One of the first GP “super practices”, Modality has the advantage of having small practices working closely in local communities with the medical and technological opportunities that come from being part of a bigger organisation. Modality employs almost 250 staff and serves around 60,000 people.

As Director of Product Design for Digital Life Sciences I worked with Modality to re engineer the organisation and to change the way that patients access care.

Part of our project was to create a centralised and properly staffed call centre for patient appointment booking. Along side this we now give users of the services different ways to reach their GP, to use the jargon, we’ve designed and delivered a multi-channel access model for patients. It’s been a success and I will tell you more later.