As virus surges, critics say the UK hasn’t learned from mistakes.

Britain bungled its response to the coronavirus the first time around. Now many scientists fear it’s about to do it again.

The virus is on the rise once more in the U.K., which has recorded almost 42,000 COVID-19 deaths, with confirmed daily infections hitting a record-high 6,634 on Thursday, though deaths remain far below their April peak.

The surge has brought new restrictions on daily life, the prospect of a grim winter of mounting deaths — and a feeling of deja vu.

“We didn’t react quick enough in March,” epidemiologist John Edmunds, a member of the government’s scientific advisory committee, told the BBC. “I think we haven’t learnt from our mistake back then and we’re, unfortunately, about to repeat it.”

The U.K. is not alone in seeing a second wave of COVID-19. European countries including France, Spain and the Netherlands are struggling to suppress rising outbreaks while limiting the economic damage.

But Britain’s pandemic response has revealed a roster of weaknesses, including unwieldy government structures, a fraying public health system, poor communication by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government and a reluctance to learn from other countries.

“We have to ask why a country with such reputed health and intelligence institutions has been so incapable of combating the COVID pandemic,” Gus O’Donnell, the former head of Britain’s civil service, said Thursday.

He said British politicians had “over-promised and under-delivered.”

Like many other countries, apart from Asian nations hit by past outbreaks of the SARS and MERS coronavirus illnesses, Britain was unprepared for the pandemic.

Britain quickly approved a test for COVID-19, but lacked the lab capacity to process those tests. That meant attempts to locate, test and isolate the contacts of every infected person soon foundered.

By the time the government ordered a nationwide lockdown on March 23, the virus was out of control. Supplies of protective equipment to hospitals and nursing homes soon ran dangerously short.

Luca Richeldi, an adviser to the Italian government on COVID-19, told a committee of British lawmakers this week that he was “shocked” at the slow U.K. response while Italy was “living a collective tragedy.”

“I had the impression that in general what was happening in Italy was not really perceived as something that could happen in the U.K.,” he said.

Critics say the government’s insistence on going its own way — epitomized and exacerbated by the U.K.’s departure from the European Union in January — has hobbled its response.

The U.K. spent months trying to develop a contact-tracing smartphone app from scratch before abandoning it and adopting an Apple- and Google-developed system already used in many other countries. The app was launched in England on Thursday — four months late.

There were some successes. Britain’s state-funded health-care system coped; its hospitals weren’t overwhelmed. But that was achieved at the high cost of postponing routine surgeries, appointments and screening for cancer and other diseases.

Like some other countries, the U.K. released elderly patients from hospitals back to nursing homes without testing them for the virus. Thousands died as a result.

Summer brought a respite as the tide of cases receded. It also brought a push to revive the battered economy. Johnson’s Conservative government urged workers to return to offices to prevent city centers becoming ghost towns and tempted people back to restaurants with discounts. It worked economically, but it may also have helped the virus to return.

Given Johnson’s back-to-normal boosterism, there was inevitable confusion when he reversed course this week and announced that people should continue to work from home after all. That came alongside new restrictions including a 10 p.m. curfew in bars and restaurants and expanded face-mask requirements.

Critics say the government was slow to advise wide use of face masks, just as it was slow to require quarantines for people arriving from abroad.

But the key failing, many believe, is in the coronavirus testing system.

Britain has rapidly expanded testing capacity, to some 250,000 a day, and set up a test-and-trace system with thousands of staff.

But when millions of U.K. children went back to school this month — and some came home with coughs and fevers — demand for tests surged to around 1 million a day. Many people found they could not book a test, or were sent hundreds of miles away.

“I don’t think anybody was expecting to see the real sizable increase in demand that we’ve seen over the last few weeks,” Dido Harding, who heads the program, told lawmakers this week — although many scientists and officials had predicted exactly that.

Headed by Harding, a former telecoms executive married to a Conservative lawmaker, the test-and-trace program is largely run by private companies including outsourcing firm Serco, using a call-center model to reach contacts and tell them to self-isolate. The system is only reaching about 60% of infected people’s contacts, and research suggests many people who are asked to self-isolate don’t comply.

“The whole thing is hopelessly inefficient,” said Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who said good contact tracing is like detective work.

“It’s as if we decided to put (fictional detectives) Miss Marple or Father Brown in a hotel room with a single telephone line and told them to solve the murder,” he told The Associated Press.

Some of Britain’s troubles aren’t unique. Dutch local health authorities are struggling to keep up with demand for contact tracing, and in some hard-hit regions infected people are being asked to inform their own contacts. In Madrid, site of one of Europe’s fastest-growing outbreaks, it can take more than a week to get test results. In France, confirmed new cases have topped 13,000 a day and the virus is resurgent in nursing homes.

An apparent exception is Italy, the first Western country hammered by the virus, where a strict 10-week lockdown largely tamed the outbreak. Even now, Italians’ compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing is strong, and cases average around 1,500 a day.

In Britain, criticism of Johnson’s leadership is growing.

Johnson is all too aware of the danger of the coronavirus — it put him in intensive care in April. But he is an instinctively laissez-faire politician who likes broad brushstrokes, simple slogans and optimistic messages.

In March, Johnson said Britain could “send the virus packing” in 12 weeks. Earlier this month, he said he hoped things would be back to normal by Christmas. This week he acknowledged that new restrictions will be in place for six months.

He said he was “deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions” — but many scientists believe stronger measures will inevitably be needed, especially if the test-and-trace system doesn’t improve.

Meanwhile, polls suggest support for the government’s handling of the crisis is falling, and authorities worry compliance is fraying.

Unease is growing among formerly loyal allies of the prime minister.

The Spectator, a conservative newsmagazine that Johnson used to edit, summarized the past six months as “disorder, debacle, rebellion, U-turn and confusion.”

“Where’s Boris?” the magazine asked on its cover.

Blockchain Technology May Alter The Future Of Healthcare

Blockchain technology, has indeed revolutionized the vision for the destiny of information and data. At the most rudimentary level, blockchain technology allows the decentralization of data; that is, it provides for the control of information to steer away from a centralized entity (for instance, an individual or organization) to a distributed network.To stand out in the industry, practitioners have no choice but to deliver healthcare entry following consumers’ changing preferences. Those who drop behind in enhancing and digitizing care incidents risk losing patients to their more up-to-date rivals.
What Is The Digital Patient Understanding In Healthcare?
The digital patient understanding comprises patients’ technology-powered exchanges at every point of the care journey. To be more adequate with the strategy, providers should strive to match healthcare customers’ online behaviors and anticipations. It does impact patients’ idea of the care experience, which today traverses multiple touchpoints.
Need of the Hour for Digital Patient Experience
Analyses show that consumers prefer and are increasingly using digital norms to access healthcare. As such, providing a quality patient digital experience will allow you attract and retain patients. Not only does gratifying patient expectations make practices look exemplary, but it can also make them the preferred provider in their area.
Approximately 60% of consumers research online to find a new provider, and a equivalent percentage checks out a practitioner’s website before choosing a physician. There’s no arguing that healthcare providers without an enhanced online experience often lag in drawing and retaining patients.
How To Improve The Digital Patient Experience In Healthcare
To assist grow your practice, enhance the patient digital journey with these crucial elements that consumers pick today:
• A Strong Online Presence
Healthcare institutions must make their web presence count by discoursing consumers’ priorities. You have to deliver excellent and comprehensive data because 71% of prospective patients will use it when choosing between your practice and competitions.
Furthermore, review and test your website’s search tool. Is it easy to utilize and quick to spot across all pages? About 55% of customers expect a smooth experience using this feature to look up specific facts or services on healthcare websites.
Another way to improve the digital patient experience is by including a mobile-optimized website—an essential deciding factor for customers looking for medical information or services online. A place with excellent navigation, readability, and other functions can assist you satisfy digital healthcare access purposes such as check-in management and patient monitoring.
And ultimately, cast your online net wider by creating your practice’s website inclusive and available to all. Depending on the local neighborhoods you’re targeting, that may entail accommodating various vocabulary preferences on your site. You can also incorporate special-needs individuals in your growing online consumer base by incorporating screen readers for visually impaired individuals and patients.
• Online Appointment Scheduling And Revocations
The inclination for online appointment scheduling among healthcare customers has been rising steadily over the years. It’s no longer sufficient to showcase your clinical expertise—more patients than ever like the convenience of digitally booking your care services. It’s something that some people will look at before selecting a provider, so you should make it part of your practice’s digital patient understanding.
While the period isn’t ripe to ditch phone booking completely, this traditional approach has been gradually waning in popularity in the healthcare arena. Therefore, allowing patients to book and withdraw appointments online is a way to futureproof your practice as healthcare customer preferences continue to modify.
• Telemedicine Assistance
Virtual care permits patients to engage with their doctor and get care remotely rather of in person. Telemedicine services, which preserved the day for many patients and healthcare institutions in the pandemic, are essential to the expected digital patient experience. Care providers should be ready to provide them with on-demand care, increasingly influencing how modern consumers interact with their preliminary physicians.
To create easier options for your clients with telemedicine, consider delivering a smartphone application for remote services rather of just a website. It doesn’t have to be a complicated aid to offer superior digital experiences. A patient-friendly app with basic features—like quick access to test results, looking up care assistance, and messaging the practitioner—can make a substantial difference. Instead of patients pushing back systematic care when in-person appointments are unsafe or unattainable, they can be seen on demand with telemedicine assistance.
• Digital Engagement
Your attribute of digital engagements can impact patient experience, your standing, and the bottom line. As per a 2020 report by Cedar, about 28% of patients quit their provider due to unsatisfactory digital health experiences the previous year. However, if they liked the quality of online interactions delivered, about 65% said they would document a positive online review, which 98% of patients said affected their choice of provider.
To be uncontroversial, doctors or dentists should streamline all meetings throughout the patient’s digital journey. Financial touchpoints deserve serious consideration today as they’re a central issues for many healthcare consumers. For instance, most patients want a more suitable, straightforward billing process that includes an online website and text-based payment choices.
These elements can determine whether patients will come back to you in the future. Customers are already enjoying online shopping and other assistance, so it’s no surprise they expect similar incidents with healthcare. You can increase your practice’s customer investment and retention rates by providing a smoother digital patient understanding. However, don’t limit your practice’s growth potential by only digitizing or improving a few pieces of the care journey. Patients expect greatest healthcare experiences end to end, and procedures must offer the same to avoid losing valuable candidates to local competitors or even nationwide virtual care providers.

Read More »

MediView and GE Healthcare to Give Augmented Reality Solutions to Medical Imaging for the Interventional Space

November 29, 2022 : GE Healthcare, a top global medical technology, digital solutions architect, and pharmaceutical diagnostics, and MediView XR, Inc., a leading clinical augmented reality med-tech organization, recently announced their collaboration to combine medical imaging into mixed reality solutions via the development of the OmnifyXR™ Interventional Suite System.

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Dubai-Located Healthcare Fintech Startup Klaim Set To Obtain US$30 Million Funding To Scale Across The Region

November 29, 2022 : UAE-founded fintech company Klaim has raised USD5 million in a seed investment round conducted by Dubai-headquartered venture capital and private equity business Knuru Capital. The funding was accomplished through a securitized financing structure -stated to be one of the foremost of its kind in the UAE- that witnessed Klaim initially obtain an amount of $5 million.

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Why Digital Patient Experience In Healthcare is Need of the Hour

a full-service healthcare digital marketing firm focused on patient investment and retention, Healthcare customers have always taken the time to research and investigate their options for finding and scheduling medical services. Nevertheless, time and technology have transformed how customers make care decisions, and the Digital patient background now plays a more important role in selecting a new provider or caretaker.
To stand out in the industry, practitioners have no choice but to deliver healthcare entry following consumers’ changing preferences. Those who drop behind in enhancing and digitizing care incidents risk losing patients to their more up-to-date rivals.
What Is The Digital Patient Understanding In Healthcare?
The digital patient understanding comprises patients’ technology-powered exchanges at every point of the care journey. To be more adequate with the strategy, providers should strive to match healthcare customers’ online behaviors and anticipations. It does impact patients’ idea of the care experience, which today traverses multiple touchpoints.
Need of the Hour for Digital Patient Experience
Analyses show that consumers prefer and are increasingly using digital norms to access healthcare. As such, providing a quality patient digital experience will allow you attract and retain patients. Not only does gratifying patient expectations make practices look exemplary, but it can also make them the preferred provider in their area.
Approximately 60% of consumers research online to find a new provider, and a equivalent percentage checks out a practitioner’s website before choosing a physician. There’s no arguing that healthcare providers without an enhanced online experience often lag in drawing and retaining patients.
How To Improve The Digital Patient Experience In Healthcare
To assist grow your practice, enhance the patient digital journey with these crucial elements that consumers pick today:
• A Strong Online Presence
Healthcare institutions must make their web presence count by discoursing consumers’ priorities. You have to deliver excellent and comprehensive data because 71% of prospective patients will use it when choosing between your practice and competitions.
Furthermore, review and test your website’s search tool. Is it easy to utilize and quick to spot across all pages? About 55% of customers expect a smooth experience using this feature to look up specific facts or services on healthcare websites.
Another way to improve the digital patient experience is by including a mobile-optimized website—an essential deciding factor for customers looking for medical information or services online. A place with excellent navigation, readability, and other functions can assist you satisfy digital healthcare access purposes such as check-in management and patient monitoring.
And ultimately, cast your online net wider by creating your practice’s website inclusive and available to all. Depending on the local neighborhoods you’re targeting, that may entail accommodating various vocabulary preferences on your site. You can also incorporate special-needs individuals in your growing online consumer base by incorporating screen readers for visually impaired individuals and patients.
• Online Appointment Scheduling And Revocations
The inclination for online appointment scheduling among healthcare customers has been rising steadily over the years. It’s no longer sufficient to showcase your clinical expertise—more patients than ever like the convenience of digitally booking your care services. It’s something that some people will look at before selecting a provider, so you should make it part of your practice’s digital patient understanding.
While the period isn’t ripe to ditch phone booking completely, this traditional approach has been gradually waning in popularity in the healthcare arena. Therefore, allowing patients to book and withdraw appointments online is a way to futureproof your practice as healthcare customer preferences continue to modify.
• Telemedicine Assistance
Virtual care permits patients to engage with their doctor and get care remotely rather of in person. Telemedicine services, which preserved the day for many patients and healthcare institutions in the pandemic, are essential to the expected digital patient experience. Care providers should be ready to provide them with on-demand care, increasingly influencing how modern consumers interact with their preliminary physicians.
To create easier options for your clients with telemedicine, consider delivering a smartphone application for remote services rather of just a website. It doesn’t have to be a complicated aid to offer superior digital experiences. A patient-friendly app with basic features—like quick access to test results, looking up care assistance, and messaging the practitioner—can make a substantial difference. Instead of patients pushing back systematic care when in-person appointments are unsafe or unattainable, they can be seen on demand with telemedicine assistance.
• Digital Engagement
Your attribute of digital engagements can impact patient experience, your standing, and the bottom line. As per a 2020 report by Cedar, about 28% of patients quit their provider due to unsatisfactory digital health experiences the previous year. However, if they liked the quality of online interactions delivered, about 65% said they would document a positive online review, which 98% of patients said affected their choice of provider.
To be uncontroversial, doctors or dentists should streamline all meetings throughout the patient’s digital journey. Financial touchpoints deserve serious consideration today as they’re a central issues for many healthcare consumers. For instance, most patients want a more suitable, straightforward billing process that includes an online website and text-based payment choices.
These elements can determine whether patients will come back to you in the future. Customers are already enjoying online shopping and other assistance, so it’s no surprise they expect similar incidents with healthcare. You can increase your practice’s customer investment and retention rates by providing a smoother digital patient understanding. However, don’t limit your practice’s growth potential by only digitizing or improving a few pieces of the care journey. Patients expect greatest healthcare experiences end to end, and procedures must offer the same to avoid losing valuable candidates to local competitors or even nationwide virtual care providers.

Read More »