The National Medical Director of NHS England claims that wearable devices such as fitness trackers will play a vital role in the NHS’s future.
Speaking to the Guardian, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh outlined several of his key predictions about how the UK health care system will change in coming years. Notably, Keogh saw wearables providing a key role in supporting the NHS and reducing its workload.
According to Keogh, who has been in his position since 2013, technology "enables you to predict things, to act early and to prevent unnecessary admissions, thereby not only taking a load off the NHS but, more importantly, actually keeping somebody safe and feeling good".
Keogh believes that devices could in future be used to monitor people’s health and alert medical professionals if action needs to be taken.
"People with conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, liver disease or asthma will wear devices, skin sensors or clothes capable of detecting deterioration and bringing this to the attention of the patient or anyone else they choose, through mobile phones," he commented.
"This monitoring will help keep people safe in their own homes rather than just waiting for serious deterioration necessitating an ambulance or GP call, followed by admission to hospital for several days."