The digital patient: transforming primary care?

Nuffield Trust
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This report, brings together the evidence on the use of digital technology in the NHS and explores what this means for those using the technology on the front line. It draws on the results of a literature review, interviews with experts, and four future scenarios. The report looks at seven types of technologies: wearables and monitoring devices; online triage tools; online sources of health information and advice, targeted interventions and peer support; online appointment booking services; remote consultations; online access to records and care plans; and apps. For each technology the report explores the evidence on its impact to date, practical experience of implementing technologies on the front line and key lessons for success. The report finds that patient-facing technology is already showing promise that it can improve care for patients and reduce strain on the stretched health service, particularly for people with long-term conditions. However, it warns that policy-makers and politicians should avoid assuming that self-care-enabling technology will produce significant savings, at least in the short term. The report also sets out an action plan on how professionals and policy-makers can make the most of the opportunities offered by patient-focused digital technology. These include the need to increase patient use of digital technology, reduce digital exclusion, and monitor and evaluate impact. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
NHS, online services, digital technology, information technology, health care, primary care, long term conditions, telehealth, case studies, patients, computer apps;
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