The NHS to give patients life-saving apps and gadgets to detect and monitor dangerous conditions

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Smartphone apps are being developed to help patients

Simon Stevens is to announce a fast-track plan to give patients devices and apps to detect dangerous health problems, monitor conditions and protect themselves from infections. Millions of patients are to get access to life-saving gadgets that can diagnose conditions in less than a minute, says the boss of the NHS.

Some gadgets will be handed directly to patients, while others will be available in GP surgeries and hospitals.

Breakthrough innovations include a simple metal strip to be attached to your smartphone which can take a heart reading in just 30 seconds.

More than 2.5 million people who suffer from an irregular heartbeat could benefit from the AliveCor mobile heart monitor, enabling quicker diagnosis and potentially preventing thousands of deaths.

Mr Stevens will say the NHS must embrace modern innovations like the world has embraced Uber and Airbnb in order to improve patient care.

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Simon Stevens
Simon Stevens is to announced a fast-track plan for the tech

He will unveil his plan in a speech at the NHS Confederation annual conference in Manchester.

Mr Stevens has agreed a new budget to make medical technology – cwww.thepocketwatchshop.comalled medtech – more widespread in a bid to speed up treatment and enable people to stay out of hospital.

He wants to see greater use of new medtech devices and apps for patients with diabetes, heart problems, asthma, sleep disorders and other chronic health conditions. Other health areas may benefit from technology such as infertility, pregnancy, weight loss and mental health.

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In his speech to NHS leaders, Mr Stevens will say: “The NHS has a proud track record of world firsts in medical innovation – think hip replacements, IVF, vaccinations and organ transplants to name just a few.

“But then getting wide uptake has often been slow and frustrating.

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New gadgets could help take pressure of the NHS

“Now – at a time when the NHS is under pressure – rather than just running harder to stand still, it’s time to grab with both hands these practical new treatments and technologies.

“In the rest of our lives we’re seeing the difference that innovative tech makes, and now the NHS will have a streamlined way of getting ground-breaking and practical new technologies into the hands of patients and our frontline nurses, doctors and other staff. By doing that, we can transform people’s lives.”

A new funding model will mean automatic payments are set up, while NHS England will be able to negotiate national bulk buy discounts on behalf of hospitals, GPs and patients.