How everyday technology is helping in the fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 has really impacted our world: our schools are shut, everyday shopping for food is now a risk and we can’t even see our loved ones. Our health has never been so dependent on staying home and the care of our NHS staff.

Currently, the priority of the NHS is COVID-19 and despite the urgency of care for COVID-19 cases, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still people with other health issues who require medical attention. However, because of all the new social-distancing laws and restrictions, people with these other conditions are unable to attend their regular appointments or check-ups. Fortunately, the advances in technology have allowed the NHS to adopt the Australian system ‘Attend Anywhere’ branded ‘Near Me’ in Scotland.

The ‘Near Me’ service can be used on everyday technology such as Smart Phones, Tablets and Computers. The service allows patients to connect with a healthcare professional from their own home. The patient enters a virtual waiting room via a dedicated link and has a secure video consultation with their clinician.

Both NHS Lanarkshire hospital clinicians and local GPs are using this technology on a daily basis to consult their patients. One patient described their video consultation:

“It was fab! Really quick and helpful.”

The ‘Near Me’ system is also allowing school nurses and mental health services in Lanarkshire to support their patients. Morag Hearty, manager of NHS Lanarkshire TEC programme said that this technology is being used to “reduce exposure to coronavirus by enabling both patients and clinicians to consult whilst in isolation.”

The NHS launched the campaign last week to reassure people that they are still open for business. The use of this technology is allowing people to be seen and reassured during these tough times.

By Millie Aitken, Team Reporter.

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