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How to Aid the NHS' Ambitious Journey to Carbon Neutrality Through Innovative Technology

3 minute read

In response to escalating climate concerns, the NHS is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming carbon neutral. This involves using advanced technology and innovative apps to revolutionise healthcare operations and safeguard the planet for future generations.

As a technology company, SPARK® TSL plans to help the NHS reach their goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.

 

Leveraging Technology for Sustainable Healthcare

The strategic integration of technology lies at the core of the NHS's carbon-neutral mission, aiming to optimise resource utilisation, streamline operations, and minimise environmental impact. Already, several innovative solutions are in action, demonstrating the transformative power of technology in promoting eco-friendly healthcare practices:

  • Smart Energy Management: Energy-efficient technologies, such as intelligent lighting and heating systems, are being deployed across NHS facilities to minimise energy wastage. Automated systems that adjust energy consumption based on occupancy and usage patterns ensure that resources are used optimally

  • Renewable Energy Adoption: Increasing the use of renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines reduces the carbon footprint of NHS facilities. These sources generate clean energy on-site, contributing to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Digital Healthcare Solutions: Telemedicine platforms and virtual consultations not only enhance patient accessibility but also reduce the need for physical travel to medical facilities, thus cutting down on emissions from transportation.

  • Waste Management Innovations: IoT-enabled waste management systems monitor waste levels and optimise collection routes, minimising unnecessary vehicle emissions.

 

Apps: Empowering Patients and Professionals

Digital Healthcare Solutions is where SPARK® TSL can help. SPARK® Horizon can facilitate virtual consultations and meal ordering which contribute to the reduction of emissions and food waste. This can all be done through apps which play a pivotal role in catalysing sustainable practices within the healthcare sector. These user-friendly tools empower both patients and healthcare professionals to make eco-conscious decisions:

  • Prescription Management Apps: Medicines account for 25% the NHS carbon footprint. E -Prescribing can helpTechnology in healthcare reduce this through medication management apps to streamline pharmaceutical processes, minimise paper waste and decrease the carbon footprint associated with traditional prescription methods.

  • Virtual Wards: The current challenges in patient care and discharge arise from the fact that consultants and doctors often have to cover long distances by walking or driving between patients. However, this issue can be effectively addressed by enabling medical professionals to connect with patients through video calls from their hospital beds. The introduction of SPARK® Horizon facilitates this seamless communication, resulting in fewer consultants needing to be on the road and ultimately leading to reduced emissions.

  • Meal ordering: Online meal ordering system can help reduce environmental waste two fold. Paper menus and food waste. Currently, the average diet related carbon footprint is 5.17kg CO2e – but this needs to shrink to 4.09kg CO2e by 2030. Hospitals have the opportunity to make a significant impact by not only reducing their carbon footprint but also minimising food waste. With the implementation of meal ordering systems, patients can now order their meals closer to the time they will be consumed, eliminating the need for pre-ordering the day before. This innovative approach ensures that patients receive the food they requested, promoting sustainability and reducing waste.

Efforts to reduce the carbon footprint in the NHS has slowed. The initial focus was on energy saving lightbulbs which is a relatively easy switch but still relies on funding. It's worth noting that 83% of vehicles used by the NHS run on petrol or diesel.

Unfortunately, it's reported that they don't have the funding to change them to hybrid or electric. By maximising the use of video calling, healthcare professionals can significantly decrease their reliance on vehicles, resulting in a substantial reduction of their environmental footprint.

 

Conclusion

The NHS' strong commitment to becoming carbon neutral demonstrates its dedication to both providing excellent healthcare and protecting the environment.

By integrating innovative technology and user-friendly apps into the healthcare landscape, patient care is being revolutionized while also contributing to the important goal of carbon neutrality.

As the NHS leads the way, it inspires healthcare systems worldwide to utilize technology's transformative potential in safeguarding both human health and the planet.

 

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