The NHS is failing in its commitment to create a digital first service and improve care through technology, according to new research, which found nearly 60 per cent of patients are not satisfied with current processes.

In 2014, the health sector published a five-year vision to improve patient care through technology, but nearly half way through the process patients remain unsatisfied.

A lack of accessible information rated among the highest complaints in the report by Apadmi Enterprise, a leading mobile application and technology developer, with almost 80% of patients calling for hospitals to bring in apps to improve access to basic information.

At present, the healthcare sector is failing to live up to its promises to create a digital first service as over half (55%) of patients claimed they have never used mobile technology to engage with the NHS ahead of, or during a hospital visit.

The majority of patients (76%) said they would like to use a form of technology to manage hospital appointments, such as booking, cancelling or confirming an appointment. And over half (55%) would want technology to store their prescriptions.

Patients claim the lack of hospital information currently available, particularly around parking, is one of their biggest bug bears (59%), which explains why two thirds (66%) want the NHS to develop a digital offering that can assist with this kind of information.

Technology that empowers patients with regards to their own healthcare is also another key consideration. 45% would like a digital way to access their healthcare records so they can make better decisions about their health and 43% said they would want to use the technology to help them manage their own illness – such as tracking their medications, or keeping a food diary.

The research forms part of a report called ‘How can mobile application technology change the way patients engage with healthcare organisations?’. The aim is to give healthcare professionals valuable insight into what patients want and expect from mobile technology in the healthcare sector.

Matt Hunt, CEO of Apadmi Enterprise, said: “Mobile technology has huge potential to transform the way healthcare is provided and accessed in the UK. New technology and services will allow healthcare professionals to better serve their patients, as well as enable people to be more proactive in managing their own health and well-being.

“When it comes to hospitals, there is a clear need to improve patient engagement and communication, and our research highlights that focus needs to be around providing regular updates so patients feel informed during the entire visit, as well as offering greater access to patient information so they feel empowered to manage their own health too.

“But while it’s clear that digital first service and mobile technology adoption in hospitals is still in its infancy, our research demonstrates that there is a strong demand from patients for this kind of tech to be implemented. Organisations will undoubtedly need help managing utilisation, streamlining processes and handling the vast amounts of data that will be stored or generated. But it seems there is no better time for healthcare organisations to seize the opportunities of mobile app technology to take advantage of greater efficiencies and better patient outcomes.”

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