Guest blog: The rise of the digital doctors
Long gone are the days when you feel unwell and the first thing you do is go to a doctor. Instead, you go to Google and research your symptoms as well as ways how to address the issue, before even looking up your doctor’s phone number.
“The startup ecosystem is… inventing ways how to monitor and manage health differently”
We keep complaining about the state of the NHS, but what I am seeing emerging from the startup ecosystem is that it’s (finally) tackling the issue head on and inventing ways how to manage health differently. Of course, nothing will replace professional diagnosis and prescription, but there are ways technology can help us monitor problems and manage them on the road to recovery.
A good example of such innovation is digital health start-up Humankind Ventures, who joined our incubator SETsquared this month. Their platform Forth gives people insight into their inner health by measuring and tracking key internal biomarkers which are essential to wellbeing and sports performance.
Depending on the test you choose, you can either collect a small blood sample yourself (via a DIY finger-prick kit) or have a nurse come to you and collect it. Your analysed results are then visualised on an easy-to-understand online dashboard, and your doctor is also kept informed if any result is out of the normal range. Thanks to the service, you gain a better understanding and control of your own health as well as identifying any potential issues before they take hold.
Another one of our members, Inclusive Media Solutions, helps people with cognitive disabilities to live independently using their innovation Easy Video. EasyVideo reduces the dependency on a carer providing a simple solution; allowing them to scan household items with their smart device to play a video on how to use it. Easy Video has already scooped a number of awards and the numbers of users are increasing every day.
£500K healthcare funding available
Now it’s time for you. When was the last time you were frustrated with the NHS or wished you could monitor your health or manage your illness? Earlier this summer, Creative England has launched a £500k fund for healthcare and wellbeing management technology solutions. You still have a month to apply – until 30 September. The funding could be the initial springboard to get your idea out there. Creative England’s initiative is looking to encourage new smartphone and tablet apps as well as web solutions to enable independent health management, incentivise healthy living and support those caring for patients.
Creative England’s initiative is looking to encourage new smartphone and tablet apps as well as web solutions to enable independent health management, incentivise healthy living and support those caring for patients.
While the technology can be of support to the current healthcare infrastructure, I can’t quite imagine my doctor being replaced by an app, and my dentist by a robotic arm (technically possible!). It is the human connection and trust that cannot be replaced by a computer. Don’t take it for granted next time you see your doctor!