‘Paypal’ for health

We’re living longer and longer and some ridiculously high percentage of children born today will get a special telegram from a child of Prince Wills & Kate (its that far away!).

Living longer means higher costs – we all shudder at the health economics – and, no matter how well the NHS survives, people are going to have to pay either privately or through more taxes.

And hurtling along in the slipstream of healthcare innovation are the financial surfers who could benefit most from progress. Medics & Mammon – get used to it. A glimpse into the near future is provided by the news that a cloud-based healthcare payment system has just won development funding in the US.

It wants to establish a secure network in cyber-space to cope with the volume of payments from patients as they ‘scale up the business to meet public demand’. Everyone benefits from the efficiency, of course they do, and more can be spent on care.

A ‘paypal’ for healthcare will boost the credit card’s potency around hospital wards and clinics and establish a model for other countries. But,surely, America is different? True to a large extent but the gap between public and private health in the UK is widening and the safeguards for those who cannot afford to pay are getting more vulnerable by the day.

Today’s goal is a paperless NHS by; tomorrow’s could a ‘paypal’ NHS


Lord of the Pills – One Pill to rule them all?

Lord of the Pills - One Pill to rule them all?

Where is that Polypill when you need it? We should all be lacing them down with beakers of Polywater to ward off the advancing nasties but there doesn’t seem to be one pill to rule them all just yet. Feverish excitement about its imminent arrival breaks every season, just like promise of an England football renaissance but it still seems a pharma dream. One company trading as Polypill offers an online medication service….consisting of four pills! Sometime soon they say – next year say the  men and women in white coats.

Which brings us to the main point – should we? A disease-busting bomb of a pill that can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, minimise strokes & heart attacks for the over-50s is laudable but, if it was over-the-counter, how many people would use it as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle? “A kebab, bottle of cola please. Oh, and while you’re at it, give us one of those Polypills will ya?” It could become the morning after pill for the binge the night before.

It is obviously aimed at prolonging life and saving the NHS money but could it also create some big problems all of its own?

Welcome to Future Pills

Pills, needles, operations, the NHS, funding….they’re all changing and here’s where we get to talk about what is happening to the future of your health. Medical innovations and new treatments are hurtling towards us so I’ll try to make sense of some of it and let you decide the rest!