Technology, shifting demographics and better informed customers will bring about the biggest changes in the NHS's history. But the reorganisation needed to meet the changes may not please everyone.
Many of the pilot studies of long-term care have been telecare, or assisting people to remain remain independent at home. Very worthy. But telecare will not benefit the majority of people with long-term conditions who care for themselves. To support them and reduce demand for expensive hospital admissions we need real time monitoring on an unprecedented scale. New organisations and jobs are inevitable.
Technology is also making medical knowledge a commodity and medical pracitioners must adapt. A study published by the British Medical Journal suggests GPs unsure of a diagnosis search the internet with Google. That study used a general search engine: what levels of diagnostic accuracy will be achieved by specialist neural nets and the application of Bayesian learning?