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02.04.20

NHS technology sees 38% surge in usage during coronavirus outbreak

New research carried out into the use of NHS technology (such as apps and websites) demonstrated a 38% increase in usage among respondents due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Some of the biggest NHS technology increases were seen in the NHS website, NHS App and NHS Pathways, among other services.

As one of the biggest health-related websites in the world, typically attracting monthly viewing figures of around 30 million visits, the NHS website saw its traffic double in March 2020 to a record 61.3 million visits, with more than 3.4 million hits coming on a single day – and two-thirds of those landing on the Covid-19 content page.

Similarly the NHS App, which supporters patients in tasks from ordering repeat prescriptions to booking and cancelling GP appointments, saw a 111% increase in the number of registrations for the month of March 2020, when compared with the figures for February.

Repeat prescription requests made using the app also increased significantly during the month, as well as patient record views.

Significant increases were seen across NHS Pathways, the NHS 111 online service, NHS login and the Electronic Prescribing Service (EPS) too, while Microsoft Teams was recently made available to NHS organisations free of charge for a limited period of time, facilitating hundreds of thousands of online message, chats and calls.

Ben Davison, Executive Director for Product Development at NHS Digital, said: “These are unprecedented times and with social distancing now the norm for everyone we’re really starting to see digital technologies come to the fore, not just in the NHS but in all walks of life.

“Good technology is making it possible for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to continue to deliver care remotely where possible and freeing up time for those patients who need face-to-face care. It’s keeping people well whilst they are isolated with good information and advice and the ability to manage things like prescriptions remotely.

“We’re fully prepared for the numbers using NHS tech to continue increasing in the coming days and weeks, as the general public continue to play a key role in helping to ease the burden on our fantastic frontline services.”

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