With increasing pressure being put on the National Health Service (NHS) innovators are seeking new ways to increase convenience and empower the public to monitor their own health.
‘Healthspot’ is a walk-in kiosk where patients can speak to doctors via teleconference. The aim is to make healthcare more accessible in remote areas without causing additional strain on the system. The kiosk is equipped with standard medical equipment so patients can provide readings and information to the doctors. It is hoped the kiosks could lead to rapid identification of disease or food-borne outbreaks.
‘Bathroom GP’ is an innovative new toilet that discretely takes biological readings, which screen for illnesses or abnormalities. Analysis considers glucose levels, digestive health, kidney function and the presence of viruses. The technology may even suggest changes to diet or lifestyle.
Implications and next steps: These technologies could offer a step change in the level of self-awareness about health and help promote behavioural change through greater access to information. Data might also help GPs to make more rapid diagnoses, reduce testing (and costs) and lead to more rapid identification of outbreaks but the risk of incorrect self diagnosis may also need to be considered.