Technology is transforming healthcare. The pace of biomedical science and genetics is leading to the discovery of new diagnostics and new drugs at an extraordinary pace. Cancer for example is now becoming a treatable and in some cases curable and preventable disease.
Digitalisation is transforming individual care, systems safety and performance, and research. It is putting patients in control, allowing diagnosis and treatment from home to reduce avoidable hospital admissions. The explosion of health Apps and handheld tools is radically empowering and supporting patients and clinicians. Breakthroughs in robotics and MRI are revolutionising surgery and diagnosis. For example the Proteus digital pill tracks its own absorption allowing doctors and healthcare systems to finally understand who is taking their pills and whether they are working. Personalised algorithms also allow nurses to have individual alerts on patients conditions 24/7.
This is all great news for patients. We all want to be safe in the knowledge that we can access the best care and most innovative treatments available.
But this progress also raises some big questions for healthcare systems around the world. How are we going to afford all this technology? How are we going to change our care pathways to focus less on hospitalisation and ‘seeing the Doctor’ and more on intelligent self-management of conditions? How will we value and pay for drugs which cure a disease rather than just prolong life?
These are the questions set out to tackle in the groundbreaking 10 year UK Life Science Strategy.
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