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Virtual care in action
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Health & Care

Virtual care in action 

From time immemorial, an invariable feature of the interaction between a patient and doctor is that it has taken place, in person, either in the GP surgery or hospital. The status quo is changing. The global pandemic COVID-19 presents a unique challenge to health systems around the world and will necessitate the adoption of innovative virtual care solutions. Ingrained patient and clinical behaviors’, entrenched stakeholder interests and a complex regulatory framework have made it difficult to operationalise and scale new technology enabled approaches. However, recent events will bring about a paradigm shift to distribute increasing volumes of healthcare interventions away from the hospital and, to the home and community. While COVID-19 will likely be the catalyst there are good reasons why this should happen in any case. Since the NHS was founded in 1948, the burden of disease has radically changed from acute infectious diseases to managing more people living longer with chronic long-term conditions. New virtual care platforms such as Lenushealth.com are capable of supporting an ecosystem of virtual care solutions that can provide care teams with rich knowledge of a patient from afar and on a continuous basis. Wearable devices, sensors and digital services can monitor health information remotely, engaging patients and carers, and enabling better self-management. Artificial intelligence can convert these data streams into actionable insight, prioritising patients that require an intervention to prevent a distressing and expensive hospital admission. Our award-winning project for remote management of COPD patients (patients with chronic lung disease), developed in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is an example of a virtual care model in action today. Moreover, while virtual care can offer effective care delivery, particularly at this time for those patients with weakened immune systems who are in the highest risk category of COVID-19, they can also enhance clinical productivity. The NHS is always being asked to do more for less. Our asynchronous virtual clinic service, developed in collaboration with NHS Scotland, moves beyond simply digitising the current outpatient model to a service model that delivers greater patient throughput for the same level of resources and meets patients expectations around convenience and flexibility. Finally, a recent study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that clinical care, the primary focus of healthcare, accounts for around 15% of overall health outcomes while health behaviours, social status and genetics account for the other 85%. As recent events illustrate, we live in an increasingly interconnected world where technology and data play an increasingly important role. Now, more than ever, is the time to harness the increasingly sophisticated data generated outside of the hospital system to deliver better healthcare and health outcomes for all. https://lenushealth.com/services/copd https://lenushealth.com/services/virtual-clinics/

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