The latest Digital Health Unplugged is now live, looking at the backlog of appointments leftover from Covid-19 and the role technology has to play in easing pressure on the NHS.

Host Andrea Downey chats to Tom Whicher, founder of DrDoctor, and Graham Kendall, director of the Digital Healthcare Council, about where the worst affected areas are expected to be and how digital tools can help break the backlog.

During the pandemic, thousands of appointments were postponed to keep face-to-face contact to a minimum, and many patients put off seeking help for conditions that weren’t related to Covid-19.

This has resulted in GP appointments being down by a third, while hospital admissions are at about 15% capacity compared to what they would normally be. Some experts have suggested that an extra 35,000 cancer deaths could occur due to delays to diagnosis and treatment during the pandemic.

NHS Confederation figures, based on research from the Digital Healthcare Council, suggest 10 million patients could be waiting for NHS appointments by the end of the year.

The podcast also looks at the importance of digital tools being clinically led and whether they are a temporary fix or a long-term management solution.

Digital Health Unplugged published fortnightly on Spotify, iTunes and Apple Podcasts. Follow us to stay up-to-date with the latest news.

You can also download the podcast from digitalhealth.podbean.com or through the Podbean app.

Got a podcast suggestion? Email adowney@digitalhealth.net

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Digital Health Unplugged: Breaking the Covid-19 backlog.