Are Technology Enabled Virtual Wards the Future of Healthcare?
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Are Technology Enabled Virtual Wards the Future of Scalable Healthcare?

We detail the remarkable opportunities that rapid technological advancements have created in the provision of virtual wards.

The rapid advancement of technology has created remarkable opportunities for healthcare, particularly in the provision of virtual wards.

Supported by cutting-edge technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), wearable technology, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), virtual wards are poised to revolutionise patient care delivery within both UK NHS trusts and private healthcare organisations

Let’s explore what virtual wards are, the key technologies that can revolutionise their effectiveness, and how this will help to scale a healthcare system that has to cope with the demands of a growing and ageing population. 

What is a Virtual Ward? 

Put simply, it’s a healthcare concept that combines aspects of traditional hospital care with remote monitoring and telemedicine technology, supported by in-person check-ups where necessary. They enable healthcare organisations to provide care and support to patients in their own homes or other community settings, reducing the need for hospital admission and ambulance call outs. 

Around 7,000 UK patients per month were already receiving high-tech home-based care in December 2022, and the UK government has announced plans to expand this to 50,000 patients per month by the end of 2023/24. So, it’s clear that virtual wards will play a vital role in the post-covid stabilisation of healthcare services. 



Node4 has been working with NHS trusts for the last 20 years and understands the pressures and restraints the service is under. As the NHS seeks to transform and modernise its services, we can bring the expertise and resources needed to support you to meet your challenges and future-proof patient care for the long term.



Cloud technology in the healthcare sector is changing lives – and saving them. Node4 has been supporting healthcare providers with digital transformation since our very early days and our knowledge of the sector, alongside our passion for cloud-based healthcare IT solutions, means we are well placed to help you.

Revolutionary Technology for Virtual Wards 

Here’s an overview of the technology used to support and facilitate virtual wards: 

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to Enhance Patient Experience
Virtual Reality (VR) creates immersive environments that can replicate hospital settings, enabling patients to receive remote care while feeling physically present. VR facilitates virtual consultations for assessment, monitoring and diagnostics. Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital information onto the real world, delivering real-time, context-aware data during remote consultations. AR empowers doctors to visualise medical records, diagnostic images and lab results to provide an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plans.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) for Continuous Monitoring
This refers to a network of devices and sensors that collect and transmit real-time patient data. IoMT can monitor patient vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels, with this data securely transmitted to healthcare providers for remote tracking and analysis of health status. Continuous monitoring assists in the early detection of complications and enables timely intervention to reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation. It can also alert healthcare professionals in the event of emergencies, activating a rapid response.

Wearable Technology for Personalised Care and Engagement
Wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, have gained real popularity among the public. Integrating these into virtual wards enables continuous health monitoring, personalised care and self-awareness for the patient. These devices often track sleep, activity and stress levels, generating insightful health data. Wearables can offer patient medication reminders and monitor chronic conditions, as well as providing lifestyle insights that encourage patient engagement and participation in their own care for better health outcomes.

AI for Enhanced Decision-Making and Predictive Analytics
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play a significant role in enhancing virtual wards. AI can be deployed to analyse patient data, symptoms, medical history and imagery to assist healthcare professionals in triaging patients accurately. Through this analysis, virtual wards can prioritise patients effectively and ensure an appropriate response. Predictive analytics helps to identify and initiate interventions where patients are at risk of deterioration or developing complications. AI also facilitates natural language processing for seamless communication in virtual consultations.

Comprehensive Data Analysis and Insights
Integrated technology in virtual wards can generate large volumes of patient data. AI has the ability to analyse this data and provide valuable insights for clinical research, quality improvements and operational efficiency. AI correlates patterns and trends to provide deep context around population health dynamics, disease progression and treatment outcomes for health care professionals. This unlocks effective data-driven decision making for health care organisations, driving research initiatives and wider policymaking for virtual wards to improve patient outcomes at scale.

Technology Enabled Virtual Wards Can Enhance Scalable Patient Care

Technology, encompassing VR, AR, IoMT, wearable technology and AI, holds immense potential to transform virtual wards within UK NHS trusts and private healthcare organisations. These technologies enhance patient care, improve outcomes and streamline healthcare delivery processes. Critically, they help do this at scale, enabling the healthcare system to adapt as populations grow and age. By leveraging innovative technology, health organisations can build trust with their patients and deliver change that matters. 

Node4 has a long history of working with health and social care organisations to deliver technology enabled outcomes. We help health organisations to deliver improved patient experiences and support consultants with frictionless access – all while driving efficiencies and controlling costs. Speak to us today to find out how we can help you.