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OPINION: We should welcome technology in our NHS

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:15 17 August 2018

NHS logo. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

NHS logo. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Archant

It is often easy to forget the innovations in health we have on our doorstep.

But two success stories this week reminded me just how lucky we are to have incredible teaching hospitals and dedicated staff on our doorstep.

The first was that of Simon Meanwell. Little Simon stopped breathing when he was just 90 minutes old but he was saved from potential brain damage by a technique which cooled his body by four degrees.

The second was about Lily-Rose Davies, who is now nine but still holds the record of the smallest baby to have survived at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Whenever we get these stories about tiny babies I like to find out what their weight is comparable to.

In Lily-Rose’s case she was 400g, the same as a can of beans - or two adult Siberian hamsters.

Lily-Rose contracted sepsis which can be deadly, but luckily she pulled through.

Now Norwich is at the forefront of a study to stop other premature babies suffering the same condition.

I spent a lot of my time hearing about new innovations in our health service and we are privileged that many of them occur here.

Whether it’s a pioneering way to tackle a complex surgery using AI or robotics.

Or a 3D technique to map arthritis.

It is an exciting time in healthcare for technology and it is only going to get more high tech, as we heard this week of a case in Essex where a heart patient had a computer chip installed so doctors could monitor his condition remotely, using a mobile app if necessary.

I feel it is right for the NHS to embrace this technology, and use it to its full ability. Not only could it save money, but time too.

For the neigh sayers there was a time when now routine procedures and kit was experimental and off the wall, we should congratulate those with the creativity to come up with such innovation.

It will also be interesting to see how the new health secretary Matt Hancock brings his digital interests into the roll, with much of the NHS still relying on fax it is greatly needed.

As the health service tries to cling on under an ever increasing amount of pressure, anything which may be able to help is a step in the right direction.

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