The Guardian: GP ‘super practice’ pioneers digital healthcare

A digital healthcare model can take the heat off primary care

It’s a startling fact that since 1989, 40% of banks and building societies on Britain’s high streets have closed.

While on the face of it, this seems like a stark reduction, for the most part it is simply the outcome of our migration towards phone and online services over the past decades.

Changing consumer behaviour has forced the banking, retail and travel industries to change the way they deliver services – from creating slick, interactive websites we can manage our money and purchases from, to increasing self-service in stores.

Strikingly, however, health has not travelled in the same direction. Less than 1% of us in the UK organise our healthcare online.

In fact, the basic model for how people access their healthcare hasn’t changed much in at least 60 years. We remain fixated with the eight-minute GP consultation and people still turn up to wait in long queues at surgeries in the morning in the hope of seeing a doctor.

This is an anachronism we have a huge opportunity to change. In the process, we can make the NHS more sustainable.

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