Atlantis Medical News

UK space technology assisting NHS

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26 JUN 2018

While it is only right that there are many celebrations regarding the 70th anniversary of the NHS, there is always a need for the organisation to look forward. This is why news that there is a search for innovative technology solutions to a range of serious health issues and challenges should be welcomed within the UK. It appears that there is £4m in support from the UK Space Agency being used alongside NHS England in an attempt to use technology initially designed for use in space to assist with medical applications back here on earth!

There are four main challenges that were outlined by Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England at the NHS Confederation

Conference in June of 2018 and these were:
• Managing long-term health conditions and joining up health and care services
• Diagnosing cancer at an earlier stage
• Improving the standard of mental health support
• Improving the standard of GP services and offering better primary care

You may not have thought that the space industry has much potential to impact on the NHS but there have been many innovations and improvements in this area. An example of technology designed for space being used in the NHS includes a pill camera which a patient swallows, providing a less intrusive way to see around the inside of a person’s body. Other innovations include slippers which help to track the movement of dementia sufferers, breast screening vans which are able to beam patient images directly to assessment centres, apps that reduce the risk of skin cancer and wearable monitors which lower the likelihood of elderly people falling.

Space age technology can positively impact on the NHS

These are all hugely innovative and they have helped transform the lives of many people. Considering the huge sums of money that is invested in the space design industry, it is good to see that some of these products are being utilised in a more conventional way for people across the country.

The National Clinical Director for innovation for NHS England, Tony Young, released a statement backing the further development of space-age technology, saying; “Throughout its 70 year history the NHS has been at the forefront of healthcare innovation. Through this competition we are seeking the latest greatest, ideas and technical solutions to help address the modern challenges facing our health and care services.”

The space sector has a big influence on life in the UK

You may not have spent too much time thinking about the space industry in the UK but the country has developed 40% of the small satellites in the world and 25% of the total telecommunications satellites in the world. The UK Space Industry provides 40,000 jobs and it manages to generate £14 billion in revenue for the country.

These are hugely positive aspects but if the UK Space Industry manages to play a strong role in supporting the NHS, it is likely that many more people will develop a fondness for this sector.


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