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The digital doctor will see you now…

Posted: Friday 15 January 2021

All it took was a pandemic to fast-track plans that had been slowly developing for years.

It’s quite a thought that, in the space of a few weeks, the way healthcare was delivered in Jersey was transformed. We are already home to a thriving and growing MedTech community, but what happened earlier this year propelled their efforts into the spotlight.

Digital Jersey commissioned Geek Talent to deeply explore a range of industries on-island to spy the ways technology could further boost their fortunes.

When it comes to health, much of what they discovered moved from theory to reality, almost overnight.

Jersey’s ambitious plans to embed technology into the delivery of healthcare has every opportunity to be a win-win for medics and patients. The obvious shifts towards telemedicine in all its guises is, arguably, the most visible and obvious, with remote GP appointments via video, and the use of technology to order tests, receive results, and prescribe medication.

But there’s so much more to it.

Technology in the hands of the patients is also an area where there is huge room for growth. Many people are already gathering and tracking their own data when it comes to their daily steps, but the ability to measure so much more including blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart rate and much more, while seamlessly and automatically transmitting that to the care provider, means automation and machine learning can flag up problems before either the patient or medic would otherwise even know about it.

The digitisation of patient care records created a rich and deep dataset which can be used to better understand health issues and trends at both a macro and micro level, and a shift in the popular understanding of how data can be help securely and safely is knocking down barriers based on preconceptions and fears, rather than a rational assessment of the evidence.

There are also emerging areas of MedTech around personalised medicine, working with the Human Genome Project to help doctors identify patient risks and intervene at an earlier stage.

While, as with all sectors, there are the productivity and profitability imperatives, when it comes to MedTech this is one field where the use of technology and the adoption of emerging and established processes has the ability to improve and save lives.

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