Moving hospital appointments online would save up to a million days off every year, analysis has found.
Research found that around one in three routine consultations for outpatients could be done online, saving the NHS nearly half a billion pounds every year.
Currently workers in the UK are forced to take one days off a year in order to attend hospital check-ups.
In what they describe as their most cautious economic forecast, analysis by healthcare platform Visiba Care said that £231.3 million is lost from the economy due to time off, with the savings to the economy set to me much higher if more time is saved.
They said that a further £265.7 million could be saved by the NHS from fewer no-shows and the better use of clinicians time.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Sam Shah, a former director of digital transformation at NHSX, said: “These very important findings reflect the essential need to design accessible health services, using digital channels with modes of consultation that best meet citizen needs.
“Digital outpatient services could not only help improve economic productivity but will also support reduced road traffic. It’s essential that digital outpatient services are now part of digital transformation in the NHS.”