Bernard Ross, CEO of Sky Medical Technology explores…
The BBC recently reported that more than six million people are awaiting routine operations in the UK. Before the pandemic, the UK government aimed to offer people in need of non-urgent surgery a procedure within 18 weeks. In 2018, it was reported that hospitals were achieving this about 88% of the time, so – even before COVID-19 – many patients had to wait a significant amount of time to get surgery. The COVID crisis has focused on a problem that has grown over the decades.
The burden of delay
For each person on the UK waiting list, there is nothing conventional about their status. People awaiting hip or ankle replacement may experience ongoing pain. Many are unable to walk, leading to problems surrounding lack of social interaction and independence. This can affect people’s ability to work and, therefore, support themselves and their families.
This is not to say that health care systems aren’t doing everything they can to ease this burden. Surgical techniques have radically changed to deliver better health care outcomes, and doctors are constantly looking for ways to speed up recovery to avoid bed blocking problems and increase volume of spontaneous surgeries. select.
Innovation creates new solutions
Perhaps the greatest opportunity to address capacity challenges comes from medical technology (MedTech). The MedTech sector has experienced significant growth in recent years. Before the 2019 pandemic, the total annual revenue of the global digital technology industry was £370.9 billion. By 2025, the global medical device industry is expected to reach a valuation of £440.5 billion, growing at an average of 5.4% per year.
Innovation has been accelerated by the pandemic. As COVID-19 challenges traditional healthcare processes, it forces healthcare systems to rapidly deploy new solutions, such as teleconsultation and increased use of remote monitoring. remote for patient management. This has helped demonstrate the technology’s transformative potential for healthcare systems.
MedTech can have a significant impact on transforming the way care is delivered, allowing healthcare professionals to focus on what matters. For example, remote monitoring can provide doctors with alerts informing them of a patient’s vital signs, but healthcare professionals still need to interpret these signs.
Faster recovery, more storage
MedTech devices that help patients recover faster, such as devices that reduce swelling after surgery, can help patients better manage their recovery at home. This will reduce hospital stays and reduce bed congestion, freeing up more capacity to perform more operations.
A prolonged hospital stay can also increase the risk of infection. According to the World Health Organization, healthcare-associated infections are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare delivery worldwide. 10% of patients in developing countries and 7% in developed countries will develop at least one healthcare-associated infection during their hospital stay.
MedTech improves welfare
COVID-19 has accelerated creating a trend in the healthcare sector that has been manifesting. Hospital waiting lists for routine operations had grown before the pandemic, but the impact of the healthcare crisis has spurred the need to make meaningful positive change. If any positivity comes from the pandemic, that change that would normally take a decade has already been made in a matter of weeks or months.
The challenge now is to create health care systems that can address not only current needs but also future needs, and effectively manage the backlog of elective surgery. The MedTech industry plays a vital role in providing ingenious solutions that help healthcare systems manage the needs of the future.
https://techround.co.uk/news/how-medtech-can-help-tackle-the-nhs-backlog/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-medtech-can-help-tackle-the-nhs-backlog How MedTech can help solve the NHS backlog