Recently, UK health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, had to withdraw his headline aim for a paperless NHS by 2018.

The NHS is still saddled with having to use paper and post for a huge amount of its correspondence and Jeremy Hunt was right to set this target. Although it is a trusted form of communication, paper slows everything down.

Patients don’t get the information they need and clinical stakeholders often don’t have important background information on their patients in a timely manner. Moreover countless hours are spent by admin teams manually opening letters, filing them, and moving them around buildings.

There is an opportunity for huge efficiencies and cost-savings by improving digital communications.

“The Government Procurement Service (GPS) has calculated that the NHS spends £79 million each year on postage and postal services and that smarter procurement could cut these costs by between 9% and 30%.”

That is a savings opportunity of up to £23m per year, not to mention the financial benefits of clinic workflow efficiencies, improved patient self-management and optimisations from seeing the right patient at the right time. Jeremy Hunt wants the NHS to use technology to improve the sharing of data, increase efficiency, and promote improved security.

[Tweet “However, hospitals still lack the technology to make the 2018 paperless target viable.”]

But this does not mean that Hunt, or the NHS, is going to stop the march toward a digitised future.

The Future Is Paperless

We believe in a paperless NHS, and are working with stakeholders within the health service to make this a reality.

Moving information to a digital platform allows for a transformation in how healthcare is delivered. Rather than making health records the act of logging information, at Mumoactive we believe that technology can enable a conversation around a person’s care. In real time.

As with cloud services in other sectors, patients’ key health information can just ‘be there’. Securely. And with access by all the people in their personal care circles as well as their health and social care teams.

Mumoactive lets people record their own health data – whether it’s values, messages, or text observations – and allows their clinicians and carers, seamlessly, to contribute to this information electronically; diabetes care plans, asthma action plans, rehab plans and more.

Rather than try to replicate paper-based processes in digital form, we believe that the entire act of how patients and clinicians think about information and communication can be revolutionised.

We believe in a secure, integrated conversation around patients, rather than a sharing of static data.

And we are committed to helping the NHS to move to a paperless future.

Sheldon Steed is the CEO of Mumoactive, a health tracking and communications platform. Mumoactive is part of Digital Health.London Accelerator and is working with NHS organisations across London.