People with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and clinicians can benefit from the application of digital technologies across all stages of prevention and care. Without integrating new innovations, enhancing the management of NCDs poses a significant economic and clinical challenge for health systems.
Digital health integration shows great promise for NCD management, with the potential to reduce reliance on in-person hospital visits and increase health system efficiency. However, efforts to digitally transform the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK have been impeded by barriers around interoperability, governance, a lack of agreement on common technologies and a paucity of public trust.
The NHS has a unique opportunity to enhance healthcare in the post-COVID-19 era. While the pandemic has exacerbated many challenges, it has also revolutionised service delivery through the rapid – and unprecedented – deployment of digital technologies.
Greater use of digital technologies could help ensure the future sustainability of the NHS and restore services to pre-pandemic levels by transitioning from a reactive to a proactive care model. Change of this scale will require a strategic, policy-led, whole-system approach, with consensus among all stakeholders.