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NHS trial patient smartphone consultation

Britain's NHS are trialling a new service, where you can get a consultation from a doctor using your smartphone.

The National Health Service have rolled out the service, which as been called 'GP at Hand', in select areas of London but if it is successful, it could be rolled out across the country.

Mobasher Butt, a partner in the 'GP at Hand' service, said: "We do everything from grocery shopping to our banking online yet when it comes to our health, it can still take weeks to see a doctor and often means taking time off work. With the NHS making use of this technology, we can put patients in front of a GP within minutes on their phone."

The service is offered by the NHS and Babylon, who are a technology company that offers a similar smartphone consultation service to patients with private healthcare.

Ali Parsa, founder of Babylon, added: "I think this is the beginning of the end for the old-fashioned way we use healthcare. It's like going from a Nokia to an iPhone. Maybe next year 10 per cent of people will have one and in five years it will be everybody ... I think normal NHS GPs will see this works and convert to doing things this way."

With the patients being able to speak to a doctor within two hours, experts believe this would stop patients booking in with minor ailments and it would just be used by those who need it.

Matt Noble, who is also a partner in the service, added to The Times newspaper: "People do value the fact that they can see a GP when they want to, but it doesn't lead to a massive increase in demand. What it does do is ensure people are seen much quicker."

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