The medical technology sector in the UK generates an annual turnover of around $30 billion annually. It has a strong foundation mainly consisting of small to medium-sized businesses, with clusters of activities concentrated in Southeast England and the Midlands.
Having a significant contribution to domestically produced products for export, it receives funding and support from the central government, which is evident in the many improvements happening in the industry.
Here are some ways medical technology in the UK is improving.
If there’s one thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it is that we need to be more efficient when producing products, especially in the medical field. In addition, gone are the days of person-to-person collaboration. Organisations now have capabilities to create a hybrid environment that consists of both in-person and remote teams.
Now that we are trying to move forward into a post-pandemic world, companies must be explicit with the lessons they learned from the past year. The complexities involved in medical product development are not surprising. But what is more alarming is that these complexities have further increased, and many engineering teams are still using decades-old technology in managing requirements, assessing risks, and testing. It’s about time businesses will innovate in medical device development while collaborating with teams involved in software, hardware, and quality, leading to more medical device jobs with the UK. More importantly, businesses should recognise the need to hire engineers who can maintain these medical devices.
It has not been easy for engineering teams to adjust to a fully remote workplace. Even organisations offering a hybrid working model have struggled to ensure that their teams are aligned in meeting delivery dates and project deadlines. The organisations that have distinct advantages over others are those focused on collaborating within their teams. These are organisations capable of building high-quality medical products and ensuring better outcomes.
In general, medical technology companies that have been adaptable to changes were able to handle the peaks of the pandemic better than those that are a bit rigid in their approach. Looking into the future, it is more important than ever that these businesses will evaluate their process and assess how resilient they are to changes.
The NHS is moving towards digitisation, increasing the range of digital health services and tools that it can offer. With digitisation, people can seek health information and support online. They can choose to speak with a doctor in person or over the phone. Moreover, the NHS will implement a wide range of apps to help people get ongoing support and help them better manage their health and wellbeing, backed by in-person care when needed.
The NHS is investing in improving its IT systems and developing new technology as well, which helps ensure that the staff will have access to the technology and tools they need to get their jobs done quicker and easier. Over the next two years, the NHS will take every significant step towards improving how its services can be made available online. They will also make sure that healthcare is accessible to everyone while keeping in mind that many patients still want and need the reassurance of a real doctor through face-to-face consultation.
One of the products of NHS digitisation is the maternity records app, where expectant mothers can benefit from real-time access to their maternity records and blood test results. The app will also serve as appointment reminders and information about antenatal classes. Moreover, the app will allow them to add their desired birth plan and record any allergies and other significant health information before coming in for an appointment. It also serves as a valuable tool for healthcare staff who need to have all the necessary information to make the best decisions for the mothers in their care. This app will cut down the amount of paperwork involved and save more than 400 working hours for staff each year.
As the medical industry transforms in the next 20 years, the cutting-edge technology of the NHS presents unique conditions to create new companies, industries, and jobs based in the UK and transform how innovation is delivered to patients.
One survey shows that a third of UK patients would prefer to use mobile healthcare apps instead of face-to-face consultations. The survey was conducted on a hundred doctors and thousands of patients in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic to understand their experiences when using digital healthcare technology and how it could affect patient care. The study found that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 33% of patients would prefer to use a mobile app instead of seeing a doctor. In addition, over a third of doctors have said that using mobile health apps have made it easier for them to prescribe the proper treatment for their remote patients.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the importance of digital health solutions and the need to increase the adoption of medical apps in the future. As the public gets used to everyday services seamlessly flowing digitally, they will expect more from healthcare services. However, some challenges can come out of this, such as how to solve frictions in delivering mobile healthcare apps and other types of digital health. Moreover, they must address technical issues and privacy concerns by aligning stakeholder concerns before these digital health products are made available to the public.
Digital health services are available in telehealthcare, mHealth, and health analytics. Telehealthcare offers services that monitor the activities of patients daily. Meanwhile, mHealth devices and apps provide helpful information and data regarding patient health. Health analytics allow for a deeper understanding of processes and digitized health systems to build infrastructures for medical services. The NHS recommends 72 apps to the public, which both patients and healthcare provides can benefit from.
By aligning the process of digital innovation, the NHS can scale digital health products and services across hospitals and a wide range of disease areas, ensuring that patients will receive quality and personalised care.