NHS to sign up patients for 'virtual' A&E in tech revolution

Original Article - The Guardian

Photo Patients using technology to communicate with the NHS would avoid long queues in A&E. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Exclusive: Patients checking systems will be told by chatbot if they need to go to hospital

Millions of patients will be encouraged to use digital technology to assess how ill they are under a groundbreaking initiative by a leading NHS hospital, as part of a drive to reduce the use of A&E and outpatient appointments.

A revolution in the NHS’s embrace of technology will see patients in Birmingham advised to use online – live and automated – chat services, online symptom checkers and video consultations with doctors and nurses to help relieve the “unsustainable” pressure on services.

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