The UK government plans to turbocharge the NHS App with virtual consultations and more

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Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Health Service (NHS) has found itself with a large backlog of cases that it needs to work through. To assist, the government has decided that it’ll turbocharge the NHS App and NHS.uk website to help doctors catch up with the treatment people need. As an aside, the government also stated that billions in taxpayer money could be saved.

Under the plans, the NHS App and NHS.uk website will deliver more personalised care. For example, people will be able to use the app to view and manage hospital appointments, have virtual consultations, and get notifications from the GP. The new plans also emphasise remote monitoring, allowing half a million people to receive better treatment by March 2023. Remote monitoring allows problems to be detected earlier, leads to shorter hospital stays and reduces admissions.

Sajid Javid, the UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary, said:

“We are embarking on a radical programme of modernisation that will make sure the NHS is set up to meet the challenges of 2048 – not 1948, when it was first established.

This Plan builds on our Data Strategy to revolutionise digital health and care, which will enable patients to manage hospital appointments from the NHS App and take more control of their own care at home, picking up problems sooner and seeking help earlier.

Ensuring more personalisation and better join up of the system will benefit patients, free up clinician time, and help us to bust the Covid backlogs.”

Thanks to the pandemic and the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine certificates, a massive 28 million people now have the NHS App installed on their phones. By next March, the app will be updated to let users book COVID-19 vaccines through the app, see more information in your GP record by default, and allow you to create a user profile where you can set and manage contact details as well as register with a GP practice. All of this is in addition to the features mentioned earlier.

Hopefully, these innovations will encourage people to communicate with their doctor more often as it should be easier to do.

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