The healthcare industry is taking some big hits at the moment, with huge cuts, not enough staff and facilities meaning we can’t always look to humans for the answers, but can we rely on tech?
Tech City News thinks we can describing how: ‘the Symptom tracker was consistently faster and more accurate in triaging patients that its human rivals. It scored 92% accuracy compared to the doctor’s 82% and the nurse’s 77%.’ They are of course talking about start-up company Babylon health, who have been looking into tech and healthcare for the past few years and are behind the NHS’s 111 line. Their mission was founded with a single purpose, ‘to put an accessible and affordable service in the hands of every person on earth.’
The benefits of tech are enormous, the accuracy is there, as is the speed of treatment. On top of speed and accuracy, you take emotions and opinions out of the equation says Babylon’s health founder Ali Parsa: “I’d trust a machine over a human any day of the week – and I already do,” he says, ‘machines don’t get worked up or angry as humans inevitably do. Even highly-trained and competent medical professionals are not infallible.’ If this new technology is as good as Parsa suggests, it could solve massive waiting times, provide accurate diagnosis and take a lot of pressure away from stressed doctors.
As well as the futuristic Symptom tracker that might just be our next GP, tech and industrial design is something that can work alongside human interaction too. Whether it’s improving mobility, a mechanism to speed things up or a development on something that already exists then it’s an example of industrial design benefiting the healthcare industry.
A fine example of this could be looking into the effect low staff levels have on hospitals. Often, fewer nurses lead to more accidents but this can still be prevented with the help of industrial design. Global company Tente offer a solution with LINEA, their hospital bed castors which are designed with an intelligent locking system and extremely low casing with the overall design. This ‘decreases the overall height of the hospital bed and consequently the potential height from which a patient can fall,’ (click here for more information).
Whether you like it or not, tech and industrial design are leading the way when it comes to revolutionising healthcare. Even minor things such as Scotland’s NHS 24 service that you can call from anywhere at anytime in Scotland is saving people’s lives.
Last year, Scotland’s NHS 24 responded to the distressed call from the wife of a diabetes sufferer who has accidentally dropped, and broken his phial of insulin. This could have been a fatal incident as the couple were aboard their boat on the West Coast of Scotland. ‘NHS 24 arranged for insulin to be delivered to a local pub in the next harbour within an hour, so that he could collect it when he docked.’ All NHS 24 has done, is allowed for maximum communication via a range of different channels in times of need, but the results are proving to be phenomenal.