Getting better: next-gen healthcare solutions
We’ve recently reported on how artificial intelligence assistants are giving physicians a helping hand. Now, Enterprise Tech is reporting how the healthtech landscape is evolving. How can technology change healthcare in the UK? Let’s find out.
Healthcare in the UK is facing steep challenges; Keir Starmer certainly thinks so, and with good reason. Santosh Sahu at Enterprise Tech states that NHS waiting lists are at a record high of 7.3 million due to a lack of funding, resources and staff shortages – all impacted by the pandemic, growth in demand and staff shortages.
How can technology change healthcare?
The crossroads between tech and healthcare is a tricky one. Ultimately, when we’re concerned about our health, we want face-to-face advice and real solutions. Just as Labour leader Keir Starmer argued last week, digitisation may be the key to heralding drastic change.
Currently, pharmacies play a vital role in the UK’s health system, as they offer services that offer the work of GPs, general practitioners. Pharmacies provide consultations, prescriptions and vaccinations, as signalled by the Government’s Pharmacy First initiative, with Britain’s 11,700 ‘community pharmacies’ will be able to play an ever greater role in patients’ lives. Software as a Service is key to easing pressures in the system – Sahu reports that insufficient government funding caused almost 400 pharmacies to close entirely between 2020 and 2022.
“Pharmacies cannot fully take advantage of Pharmacy First due to a lack of funding and resources.”
– Santosh Sahu
So what’s the solution? The ‘healthtech’ industry is a booming market, valued at just over £3 billion in 2021. This number may surprise you, considering the original aim and intent of the National Healthcare Service; like so many other publicly-funded institutions, privatised innovation may be the key to long-term success. Hundreds of healthtech start-ups now exist within our shores, providing a wealth of opportunities for researchers, investors and innovators to do exactly that.
Charac and easy access
One such example is Charac. Founded by Katherine Bridges, its Head of Brand and Clinical lead and a former NHS nurse, it’s one of many digital services offering atypical solutions that are empowering entrepreneurs to produce solutions to “fill market gaps and ultimately improve patient outcomes”. Charac’s modus operandi is simple: an easy way of monitoring prescriptions, any time, anywhere, that allows chemists and patients complete, transparent access to their medication records.
“Charac provides independent community pharmacies with a holistic digital presence, allowing pharmacists to book and conduct consultations online and even deliver medications through its partnership with Royal Mail.”
– Katherine Bridges
If pharmacies are struggling with burgeoning costs, such digital solutions serve and streamline both staff and their communities. Almost half (47%) of patients use pharmacies for repeat prescriptions – if the entirety of this process is liberated by a SaaS (systems as a service) model like Charac and its competitors, staff can afford to be more present and more effective, galvanising the Government’s Pharmacy First approach and freeing up valuable NHS resources to be deployed elsewhere.
How would you reboot the NHS? Keep the conversation going in the comments.
Want more healthtech news? Click here: OpenAI Changes Healthcare For The Better.