Trainee nurse gives SD her thoughts on the digital health landscape

SD – Hi, could you please introduce yourself – What is your name, and what is your current job position?

Hi I’m Katie, studying Adult Nursing at King’s College London, currently in my second year.

SD – Where do you live – where do you live and what hospital / trust do you work in ? 

At the moment I am living in Brixton, which is ideal for work because my placements are at King’s College Hospital which is in Denmark Hill, so very close and convenient.

SD – What do you see are the biggest healthcare challenges in in 2015 ? 

Money!! Definitely. This could be down to the ageing population, as well as many other contributing factors. Staffing is also consistently seen as a challenge for majority of hospitals.

SD – Over the past year have you seen the integration of apps and electronic methods into healthcare?

I have not necessarily seen the integration of apps over the past year. But technology is definitely slowly making its way into many hospitals across the UK. For example, at the hospital I work at patient records and medication charts are all electronic. This is massively beneficial in terms of time and efficiency. There are idea’s of the paperless NHS out there, but this would take a lot of time and planning.

SD: Do you think an app or Digital Technology could help you on a day to day basis with your work? 

I believe so yes. I’m sure different healthcare professionals would have personal preferences as to what would be beneficial for them. From a nursing prospective, medication apps would be a delight- in order to search a drug, what it does, the dosage, contraindications etc. For patient benefit, an app specific to a diagnosis would be great for patient education. For example, if a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, the app would highlight diet requirements, what diabetes is, how often to check your blood sugars. There is much strain on the financial aspect of healthcare down to noncompliance, therefore if patients had more understanding of their disease this would potentially solve this issues.

SD – Do you use your smartphone at work? 

Most shifts we work flat out for 12 hours so I barely have time to use my phone. Being a student nurse I obviously don’t know everything, so occasionally I turn to google to search terms/procedures/drugs.

SD –  Are there any Apps that you use at the moment that help you with your work? 

Hmm, I don’t think so. That is mainly because there isn’t any out there! Calculator is as far as I go really. On shift, time is an issue and image is important, so displaying your personal smartphone may be seen as non-professional. As I said before, I really think a medication app is the way forward.

SD – Fast forward the clock to 2020 – what do you see the Digital Healthcare Landscape?

Everything will be electronic. A hospital in Adelaide, Australia is planning to have robots to complete certain tasks such as supplying drugs and clearing foods. Although I personally do not see that as a good thing, as care needs to be holistic and personal to achieve high standards. More realistically, I can see electronic patient records being transferable across hospitals and potential countries! These kind of designs are dependant on a strong network, because what on earth would happen if it all crashes?

SD – thanks for your time


Nic McCoy

Co-Founder and Director of Talent Solutions

Nick is an experienced sales, marketing and recruitment professional with the last 12 yrs+ spent working with Medical technology companies and digital health innovators.

LinkedIn | More articles by Nic McCoy