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Will diagnosis by smartphone for NHS patients relieve the pressures on the NHS?

Tagged In:  Health

In an announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, all NHS patients will be offered the opportunity of diagnosis on their Smartphone. 

In a series of proposals to bring public access to key health information about their health online, Hunt, outlined plans for the 111 service that will enable patients to type in their symptoms and receive instant advice or a call back from clinical advisers. 

We’ll have to wait until the end of next year for the technology, but the proposals are expected to relieve some of the pressures felt by GPs, nurses, and other clinical staff. It may also speed-up referrals to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and mental health professionals in a bid to encourage patients to take a more involved role in the management of their own care. 

In wider proposals, Hunt also spoke about a central NHS website that will allow everybody in the country to make appointments with their GP, order prescriptions and even download copies of their medical record. 

In a push for greater transparency, the 111 website will also give the public access to league tables charting their local health services performance in key clinical areas. 

The wider question many are asking though is whether the plans will result in a reduction in the number of people visiting A&E. Of course, we’ll have to wait until way into 2018 at the very earliest for an answer, although recent research by the University of Manchester has revealed that the areas that have extended their access to GPS have seen a 26% reduction in A&E visits for minor injuries. 

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