Within weeks of covid-19 enforcing social distancing, we were able to book GP appointments online and conduct health consultations over our mobile phone. And within a year we had a suite of approved vaccines - a process that normally takes years, not months. These changes reflect a burgeoning revolution in healthcare. We explain why this is just the beginning.
Yet despite these rapid advancements, at the centre of the crisis was the fragility of our hospitals, which ultimately led to national lockdowns and economic hardship. As wards were turned over to covid patients, others were left waiting for life saving treatment.
How can healthcare technology be used to prevent this from happening again while also improving patient outcomes, caring for our ageing population, eradicating the threat of disease, and taking pressure off our creaking healthcare system? Will using home-based diagnostic scanning devices like phones and iPads become common-place, and can science enable faster diagnosis and personalised treatments that are more effective with fewer side effects?
Broadcast Journalist and Host of Sunday Politics
Samantha Simmonds has been a journalist and broadcaster for more than 20 years – she is currently presenting on BBC World News where she covers international events of the day. She also presents Sunday Politics and has her own podcast, ‘It’s a Grown-Up Life’. She presented on Sky News for more than a decade anchoring coverage of some of the biggest stories of recent years. These included the murder of British MP Jo Cox, the EU referendum live from Gibraltar, several general elections and the terror attacks in Tunisia and Brussels. Samantha’s highlights while at Sky include presenting on location at Buckingham Palace for the Queens’s 90th Birthday, at the Olympic Park for the London 2012 opening ceremony, and presenting from outside Buckingham Palace during the royal wedding.
Rosemary Leonard has been the resident doctor on BBC Breakfast, and writes a weekly column for the Daily Express and Sunday Express Magazine. She is also the Medical editor and feature writer for Woman and Home magazine. She has written several books, including Doctor’s Notes : More Incredible Tales from a Doctors Surgery, which was published in 2016. Her latest Book Menopause: The Answers, was published in February 2017.
Rosemary is still a practising doctor, working as the senior partner at a practice in south London. She has worked as the national GP representative on the Committee on Safety of Medicines, been a member of the Human genetics Commission and a non-executive Director of the Health protection Agency. She has just been appointed as a non-executive director of Sports Coaching UK.
She trained in medicine at Cambridge University, where she was awarded double first-class honours. She was awarded an M.B.E. for her services to healthcare in 2004, and was awarded ‘Health Advice Columnist of the Year’ in 2016.
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