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What do you think the future of the NHS will look like?

I was asked to write a final piece of work about my vision for the NHS in 70 years. This was for my online course entitled the NHS Explained: How the Health System in England Really Works run by the Kings Fund.

What the NHS could look like in 70 years’ time. Whow – that takes a long leap into the future, especially when you consider the advances over the past 70 years.  I will give it a go though. In fact projecting myself 70 years forward has proved to be quite an entertaining, exciting and at times a somewhat frightening experience.

My professional life is spent ‘online’ developing websites; using available programmes and online systems to aid users find products and use information that is useful for them.  Developing this thought and work further would mean that I might need to take a paradigm shift into the world of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Not as fanciful as you might imagine. Only this morning [Sunday 30 June 2019] on the BBC Andrew Marr show foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, said that in his opinion the future of the UK is technology based and all that that encompasses, including the development and use of nano technology and artificial intelligence. He pointed out that we (the UK) have the top universities that develop technology in Europe and are at the top of the world league tables also.

The smart home already exists and when we can we as consumers seem quite happy to pay for the services that are provided making use of our ‘personal home assistants’ to organise our lives. So, it’s not a far leap to take this to the area of looking after our healthcare.  People would probably be expected to take personal responsibility for their own health with the assistance of various continual monitoring systems such as health bands, smart watches and smart homes with integrated scanners and implants.  If I understand it correctly the soon to be used 5g technology will change the face of wireless communications completely by using existing wiring and electrical systems as conduits for information.  We could therefore be ‘monitored’ in every way possible.

I can see a time when the NHS would be a UK wide centralised ‘business’ where most services and  specialist consultants would be available online with full access to patients data, with the patients consent of course. This system already exists to some extent and is used daily by many of the UK population, whereby they have full access to their own medical records, book in to see the doctor of their choice and self refer to various departments within the NHS for help with sorting health issues.

This is where my vivid imagination ran away with me where the ‘house’ – which now monitors everything – would perhaps decide that a person’s medication wasn’t having the desired outcome, so would take it upon itself to order a different type. This medication would be delivered on the same day of course by some kind of mini-drone or an automated truck.

However, even that is probably an outdated idea even as I type.  Who knows what will still be here with regards to NHS health systems in 70 years – especially if AI has a hand in it.

Signing off for now.

Julie – adaywelllived.co.uk

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