With automation and artificial intelligence becoming the future of the world, is Click and Collect Healthcare the next step to a fully automated healthcare service?
As we emerge from a global pandemic, we can now begin to review and measure the impact it has had on the evolving world. This article aims to inspire free thought and debate around the topic of healthcare within the UK, and how demand and consumer trends are developing as a necessity in the wake of a stretched healthcare system.
In truth, we find ourselves now more isolated from our already stretched national healthcare service than ever before. The national healthcare service is on the brink of being overwhelmed, more so now than it has been, and yet it keeps on going irrespective of the ever-growing demand and challenges thrust upon it.
Its success is owed to the valiant efforts of its skilled and dedicated personnel, who work tirelessly to ensure the health and wellbeing of others – amid the most strenuous of conditions.
The NHS is the single biggest employer in Europe, and the world's largest employer of skilled personnel, employing over 1.3 million people - this represents 1 in every 25 of working age adults within the UK .
However, over the years it has become even more evident that pay and working conditions have not been maintained in line with other sectors. This has seen a decline in workforce growth, which is in direct conflict with the needs of a growing and ever ageing population.
Over the past 18 months we have begun to see a swing in how healthcare is being delivered and received, this change is a catalyst to the systematic transformation of how prescription medicines are being prescribed transactionally, and more specifically to manufacturing industry - handled and delivered.
With patient waiting lists ever growing and it being an impossibility to get a face-to-face appointment with our General Practitioners – unless we are of course one of those few people who manage to obtain that one available emergency
Are we now seeing and witnessing an ever-growing demand for medical healthcare services outside of the NHS?
The evidence for this would suggest yes. With app-based healthcare platforms on the rise, which offer quick response times and diagnosis - as well as where appropriate private prescriptions and referrals - the path of least resistance seems all too obvious for the general consumer.
Not only does this service provide instant healthcare, but also provides a prescription service that can delivered direct to your door. The absence of face-to-face personal interaction, providing reassurance and certainty, is where this current automated system is lacking.
In contrast, this also could bring in to question the quality of service being provided as well as a ‘self-diagnosing’ culture, we must also on balance appreciate that any advice or consultation given is only as good as the information that is provided. Do we, then increase the risk of miss-diagnosis, extracting a higher demand on manufacturers to produce and distribute these medicines?
This swing in trend is further supported by the announcement of Royal Mail’s new business division: Royal Mail Health. Divisions such as these have been created to support the healthcare industry, including local pharmacies, to ensure consumers have easy and efficient access to healthcare and medical products.
This then further supported by the demand for more intelligent and technologically advanced industrial climate-controlled buildings that we are beginning to see appear within the marketplace.