Technological advances have given us a lot of “on-demand” services that we tend to take advantage of. If you’ve been alive since the 1990s, then you’ll know that sending messages to people across countries was both slow and expensive, and there was a considerable delay in communicating with people on the other side of the world. Letters were still very common to use and it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the internet started to become more widespread and used by everyone around the world.
Nowadays, it’s almost normal to expect that everything will soon have an on-demand replacement. For movies and television, we got on-demand video subscription services. For communication, we got instant messaging and video-calling that can be used to keep in touch with people all over the world. Even shopping became instant and on-demand thanks to every big company offering some sort of delivery service over the internet, even if the thing you’re buying is huge and bulky, such as a piece of furniture.
Next in line seems to be healthcare; one of the most important aspects of modern life. Even today, it’s necessary to book an appointment and go visit your doctor in person, but with new advances, we may be nearing a future where we can get on-demand healthcare to avoid queues, booking times and long waits. Every second counts in the world of healthcare and it can be the difference needed to save someone’s life.
What does today’s technology offer in terms of on-demand healthcare?
As of today, there are already lots of on-demand services that relate to healthcare. For example, you can download an NHS app that can help you purchase prescriptions and have them sent directly to your home. This is great for people that are too busy to visit their pharmacy, that don’t have a local place to pick up medicine or simply need a quick prescription because they’ve lost their medication or have run out.
These types of on-demand services are perfect for anyone that lives a busy life and needs more convenience. After all, if the delivery of heavy furniture and groceries within a few hours is possible, then why is it not possible for healthcare-related products? It’s extremely easy to use, delivery is fast and it’s a convenient way to look after your health.
In addition, we also have on-demand healthcare services available to us now. These online GP appointments are carried out by at-home doctors all over the country and you can do this with your smartphone, tablet device or even computer with an attached webcam. You simply sign up, pay a one-time fee per appointment or register for a monthly service, and then you can see a doctor at any time. They can offer prescriptions as with your regular doctor and they’re equally as professional.
The only downside to this is that the doctor can’t inspect you up close or take certain readings from you. They also can’t perform every test and you may still need to visit a doctor in person especially if it’s a serious condition or problem. They can visually inspect you thanks to the camera on your device, but the quality isn’t perfect and it’s still limited in terms of features. Of course, there’s no reason why this can’t improve in the future and it will easily become one of the most convenient on-demand healthcare services that everyone will have access to.
Not only is it inexpensive, especially for those that need to travel a fair distance to even reach their GP, but it can give you a quick and accurate diagnosis to use as more information for when you visit your GP in person. It’s quickly becoming one of the most inexpensive and helpful ways to get a professional opinion about your condition and there are few downsides given the convenience and on-demand nature of it.
Other ways that technology can help us improve our health
Technology doesn’t need to be rooted in healthcare in order for it to be useful. For example, there’s a lot of modern technology that can help you live a healthier life such as at-home fitness trackers that can save the information and later be sent to your doctor for them to examine. There are also at-home devices that can provide you with cardiogram features so you can get a better understanding of your health.
As we can see with these types of devices, it’s all about putting more understanding and control in the hands of common people. Coupled together with informative websites that do their best to describe complex conditions, medication and healthcare concepts, we’re starting to see a revolution where more people are taking back control of their health and making their own informed decisions. This is a far cry from the past when people would still make their own decisions about their health, but with far less knowledge and understanding of their condition.
GPs are taking advantage of technology at an accelerated rate
However, it’s good to keep in mind that outside of offering online GP appointments and prescription deliveries, GPs are starting to use technology to inform us of our own bodies and conditions. For example, online GP services can offer us a way to book and cancel appointments but also allows us to view parts of our GP record such as medication, allergies, vaccinations, history of our illnesses and also test results. These records can easily be downloaded and presented to other doctors or even used for things such as insurance claims.
You can also view clinical correspondence such as hospital discharge summaries, outpatient appointment letters and even referral letters. All of this information helps to keep us in the loop so that we have a better understanding of our bodies, our personal situation and most importantly, our current health status. It’s the type of on-demand service that we’ve come to expect from modern technology and having it applied to the healthcare industry is a huge deal that we should all take notice of.