Patients doing it for themselves
Last week I attended an event titled “Digital Transformation in Health and Wellness”, organised by the NI Connected Health Ecosystem, and hosted by InvestNI.
There were several excellent speakers, but the guy that delivered the most powerful and the most entertaining speech as Professor George Crooks – CEO Digital Health and Care Institute Scotland. While the scale of the challenge is huge, the fact that there are smart, passionate and expert folks like Prof Crooks involved left many of us elated at the end of what would otherwise have been a dispiriting presentation.
I’ll share but one illuminating fact. Of those that record BP measurements, the least accurate records are made by… Doctors. Nurses are somewhat better. The most accurate measurements of blood pressure are taken by… patients.
But notwithstanding this, in Scotland currently there are 1.3 million GP appointments per year to take a patients blood pressure. That will rise to 3.4 million by 2020. A visit to the GP was estimated to cost £45 in 2014. Ponder that cost versus the cost of a BP cuff from your local Pharmacist (less than £15). Add in some trivial IoT type connectivity, and those patient-taken BP results could in the Doctor’s PC 10 seconds after they were taken. Add a little bit of AI and the Doctor could be alerted to a worrying trend. Even better, a trip to the GP is quite an ordeal for an elderly person of reduced mobility, perhaps without much family support, so we can eliminate many of these difficult journeys.
This is of course why we’ve planned from the start to allow Kraydel to pair with the many Bluetooth enabled BP cuffs (and other medical devices) on the market, capture the data, apply rules, generate alerts and all that other good stuff.