Times Magazine: Addenbrooke's is pioneering tech in health care
In a multi-page feature, Rachel Sylvester meets medical and administrative staff from Addenbrooke's to discuss the impact of unprecedented pressures on the hospital and how 'new technologies including robotic surgery, AI diagnostics, virtual wards and genomics' may help alleviate these stresses.
Professor Stewart shares the benefits of robotic surgery for patients, more precise movements and smaller incisions, which can result in shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery. He also explains how developments in AI are helping clinicians to diagnose kidney cancer, reducing the number of doctors involved in making a diagnosis.
Although plans for new specialist cancer and children's hospitals in Cambridge are well underway, Roland Sinker, chief executive of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), would prefer to reduce the number of patients treated in hospitals. He believes that technologies developed between Cambridge University and the Trust will enable more patients to be treated in the comfort of their home. Addenbrooke's has been one of the first UK hospitals to trial the 'virtual ward', in which patients are 'cared for remotely from home, with equipment to measure their own blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and oxygen levels.'
Other innovations are helping paramedics triage patients remotely, allowing specialists from Cambridge to monitor patients remotely at other smaller hospitals, facilitating direct communication between GPs and specialist physicians. All of these innovations aim to limit the number of patients attending A&E and to smooth the patient journey through the hospital if they do need to attend.