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Can the NHS modernise without going broke?

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Emmett Noble

p The NHS has a rotten reputation when it comes to technology.

At Davos in January last year, NHS England CEO Simon Stevens announced seven innovation testbeds that will take a different approach to tackling the impending health crisis.

Two of the testbeds focused on Internet of Thingstechnology, with Surrey and Borders partnership NHS Foundation Trust using smart devices to help people with dementia stay at home longer and West of England's Academic Health Science Network developing a diabetes digital coach.

The other five testbeds weren't as prescriptive: in North East London and in Lancashire and Cumbria, testbeds were looking to support older people with dementia; Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale NHS was working with Google's Verily on prediction and prevention techniques; Sheffield was looking to help people with diabetes, hypertension and other long-term condition treat themselves at home; and the Birmingham and Solihull project was developing tools for managing mental health.

That's only expected to increase as demographics skew older, with the number of people 75 or older up by 89 per cent since the mid 1970s.

As long term illnesses affect more people – as of 2013, there were 3.2 million people with diabetes – that's expected to increase to four million within the decade.

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Emmett Noble
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