Over recent months, the NHS has been under constant scrutiny on spending. It is therefore no surprise that the NHS has begun to fully embrace the use of digital based services in an effort to save as much money as possible. Jeremy Hunt has already stated that the NHS must “go paperless” by 2020.
Research from a US National Library of Medicine article suggests that technology can improve the quality of life for carers and their patients. With the boom of technology developing at an astounding rate, there are already a number of health products available in the market including the more recent emergence of virtual Dr Mobile apps. The app Dr Now has already been given a provisional clean bill of health by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Dr Now is a private healthcare app which allows users to order prescriptions and have video consultations with registered doctors. This and its many rival apps are mainly subscription based, whereby users pay a monthly fee in order to receive quick consultations, skipping the long GP waiting lists for an appointment.
Reports by Digital Health News said that the CQC have planned to “roll out a more focused regulatory regime for the growing number of digital healthcare services, many of them run by companies charging for private access to NHS doctors.”
Points have been made from both sides with some suggesting mobile GP apps are stealing doctors away from the NHS as they can be paid up to £90,000 a year if they work full time. Will this be the future of the NHS?