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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


The Independent Careers in Health

New technology is changing healthcare careers, says Julia Manning, chief executive of independent social enterprise think tank 2020health.

Heart pacemakers can now automatically transmit readings to hospitals so patients no longer need to attend to have their pacemaker ‘read’. Mobile phones can send and receive patient data from their homes. “It means that patients can be monitored remotely — medical staff need only see them if there are problems,” says Manning. “Technology will make some jobs less labour-intensive, which may attract new entrants, but others will be deterred by the possibility of less patient time,” says Manning. In optometry, for instance, equipment to photograph and measure the eye has sped up appointment times. However, take-up of new technology by the NHS is patchy. Funding rules mean individual organisations are financially penalised for reducing patient-facing outpatient appointments — an issue that must be tackled, Manning says. “Healthcare professionals and those considering healthcare careers should check the technology training that employers offer. Healthcare professions and organisations must look at future training needs now or risk training a redundant profession,” says Manning.